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Briesacher B.A.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Quittner A.L.,University of Miami | Saiman L.,Columbia University | Sacco P.,Novartis | And 2 more authors.
BMC Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: Adherence with tobramycin inhalation solution (TIS) during routine cystic fibrosis (CF) care may differ from recommended guidelines and affect health care utilization.Methods: We analyzed 2001-2006 healthcare claims data from 45 large employers. Study subjects had diagnoses of CF and at least 1 prescription for TIS. We measured adherence as the number of TIS therapy cycles completed during the year and categorized overall adherence as: low ≤ 2 cycles, medium >2 to <4 cycles, and high ≥ 4 cycles per year. Interquartile ranges (IQR) were created for health care utilization and logistic regression analysis of hospitalization risk was conducted by TIS adherence categories.Results: Among 804 individuals identified with CF and a prescription for TIS, only 7% (n = 54) received ≥ 4 cycles of TIS per year. High adherence with TIS was associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization when compared to individuals receiving ≤ 2 cycles (adjusted odds ratio 0.40; 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.84). High adherence with TIS was also associated with lower outpatient service costs (IQR: $2,159-$8444 vs. $2,410-$14,423) and higher outpatient prescription drug costs (IQR: $35,125-$60,969 vs. $10,353-$46,768).Conclusions: Use of TIS did not reflect recommended guidelines and may impact other health care utilization. © 2011 Briesacher et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Smith D.H.,Kaiser Permanente | Thorp M.L.,Kaiser Permanente | Gurwitz J.H.,Meyers Primary Care Institute | Gurwitz J.H.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 9 more authors.
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes | Year: 2013

Background-There is scant evidence on the effect that chronic kidney disease (CKD) confers on clinically meaningful outcomes among patients with heart failure with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HF-PEF). Methods and Results-We identified a community-based cohort of patients with HF. Electronic medical record data were used to divide into HF-PEF and reduced left ventricular EF on the basis of quantitative and qualitative estimates. Level of CKD was assessed by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and by dipstick proteinuria. We followed patients for a median of 22.1 months for outcomes of death and hospitalization (HF-specific and all-cause). Multivariable Cox regression estimated the adjusted relative-risk of outcomes by level of CKD, separately for HF-PEF and HF with reduced left ventricular EF. We identified 14 579 patients with HF-PEF and 9762 with HF with reduced left ventricular EF. When compared with patients with eGFR between 60 and 89 mL/min per 1.73 m 2, lower eGFR was associated with an independent graded increased risk of death and hospitalization. For example, among patients with HF-PEF, the risk of death was nearly double for eGFR 15 to 29 mL/min per 1.73 m2 and 7× higher for eGFR<15 mL/min per 1.73 m2, with similar findings in those with HF with reduced left ventricular EF. Conclusions-CKD is common and an important independent predictor of death and hospitalization in adults with HF across the spectrum of left ventricular systolic function. Our study highlights the need to develop new and effective interventions for the growing number of patients with HF complicated by CKD. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.


Harrold L.R.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Briesacher B.A.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Peterson D.,Meyers Primary Care Institute | Beard A.,University of Michigan | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2013

Objective. Economic access to costly medications including biologic agents can be challenging. Our objective was to examine whether patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at particular risk for cost-related medication nonadherence (CRN) and spending less on basic needs. Methods. We identified a nationally representative sample of older adults with RA (n = 1100) in the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (2004-2008) and compared them to older adults with other morbidities categorized by chronic disease count: 0 (n = 5898), 1-2 (n = 30,538), and ≥ 3 (n = 34,837). We compared annual rates of self-reported CRN (skipping or reducing medication doses or not obtaining prescriptions because of cost) as well as spending less on basic needs to afford medications and tested for differences using survey-weighted logistic regression analyses adjusted for demographic characteristics, health status, and prescription drug coverage. Results. In the RA sample, the unadjusted weighted prevalence of CRN ranged from 20.7% in 2004 to 18.4% in 2008 as compared to 18.5% and 11.9%, respectively, in patients with 3 or more non-RA conditions. In adjusted analyses, having RA was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in the risk of CRN (OR 3.52, 95% CI 2.63-4.71) and almost a 2.5-fold risk of spending less on basic needs (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.78-3.25) as compared to those without a chronic condition. Conclusion. Patients with RA experience a high prevalence of CRN and forgoing of basic needs, more than do older adults with multiple other chronic conditions. The situation did not improve during a period of policy change aimed at alleviating high drug costs. Copyright © 2013 The Journal of Rheumatology.


Pimentel C.B.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Briesacher B.A.,Northeastern University | Gurwitz J.H.,Meyers Primary Care Institute | Rosen A.B.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society | Year: 2015

Objectives To assess improvements in pain management of nursing home (NH) residents with cancer since the implementation of pain management quality indicators. Design Cross-sectional. Setting One thousand three hundred eighty-two U.S. NHs (N = 1,382). Participants Newly admitted, Medicare-eligible NH residents with cancer (N = 8,094). Measurements Nationwide data on NH resident health from Minimum Data Set 2.0 linked to all-payer pharmacy dispensing records (February 2006-June 2007) were used to determine prevalence of pain, including frequency and intensity, and receipt of nonopioid and opioid analgesics. Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate resident-level correlates of pain and binomial logistic regression to identify correlates of untreated pain. Results More than 65% of NH residents with cancer had any pain (28.3% daily, 37.3%


Naci H.,Harvard University | Naci H.,The London School of Economics and Political Science | Soumerai S.B.,Harvard University | Ross-Degna D.,Harvard University | And 5 more authors.
Health Affairs | Year: 2014

Elderly Americans, especially those with multiple chronic conditions, face difficulties paying for prescriptions, which results in worse adherence to and discontinuation of therapy, called cost-related medication nonadherence. Medicare Part D, implemented in January 2006, was supposed to address issues of affordability for prescriptions. We investigated whether the gains in medication affordability attributable to Part D persisted during the six years that followed its implementation. Overall, we found continued incremental improvements in medication affordability in the period 2007-09 that eroded during the period 2009-11. Among elderly beneficiaries with four or more chronic conditions, we observed an increase in the prevalence of cost-related nonadherence from 14.4 percent in 2009 to 17.0 percent in 2011, reversing previous downward trends. Similarly, the prevalence among the sickest elderly of forgoing basic needs to purchase medicines decreased from 8.7 percent in 2007 to 6.8 percent in 2009 but rose to 10.2 percent in 2011. Our findings highlight the need for targeted policy efforts to alleviate the persistent burden of drug treatment costs on this vulnerable population. © 2014 by Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation.

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