Characteristics and medication use of veterans in medicare advantage plans

Talar W. Markossian, Katie J. Suda, Lauren Abderhalden, Zhiping Huo, Bridget M. Smith, Kevin T. Stroupe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To compare characteristics, health conditions, and medication acquisition patterns by fee-for-service (FFS) or Medicare Advantage (MA) plan enrollment status for Medicare-eligible veterans. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of all female and a random 10% sample of male veterans. METHODS: Data were derived from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare administrative databases. Demographic, geographic, and RxRisk-V risk classes were ascertained in 2008. Medicare Part D enrollment, medication acquisition, and use of high-risk medications (HRMs) were examined in 2009. A veteran was classified as an MA enrollee if he or she was enrolled in an MA plan for at least 1 month in 2008-2009. Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted to compare veterans’ characteristics and medication acquisition patterns by plan enrollment type controlling for veterans’ characteristics. RESULTS: Veterans who resided in urban settings and in the West or Northeast and who had co-payments for their VA medications had greater odds of enrolling in MA programs compared with their counterparts. MA-enrolled veterans were more likely to be dual (32.3% vs 7.0%) or Medicare-reimbursed (31.1% vs 14.5%) pharmacy users and less likely to be VA-only pharmacy users (29.4% vs 48.7%) than FFS enrollees. Higher proportions of MA-enrolled veterans received HRMs compared with those in the FFS sector (17.0% vs 14.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Providers both inside and outside of the VA should consider that substantial information about the medication use of veterans may be unavailable in their healthcare systems’ electronic records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Volume24
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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