Limited information exists about enrollment in Part D prescription coverage by Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. Part D coverage may increase access to medicines. This study evaluated patterns of Part D uptake and costs and assessed the effects of coverage on hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) use among people with colorectal cancer (CRC). We analyzed Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)–Medicare linked data on fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries with at least 36 months of follow-up who were diagnosed with CRC at any point from January 2007 through December 2010, and a matched cohort of beneficiaries without cancer. Dual (Medicare/Medicaid) enrollees were excluded because they are automatically enrolled in Part D. Among beneficiaries with CRC (n = 12,774), 39 percent had complete Part D coverage, defined as coverage in the diagnosis year and 2 subsequent years; the rate was 38 percent in the matched comparison cohort (P = .119). Among those with complete Part D coverage, there was no significant difference in annual prescription drug costs between people with CRC ($3,157, 95% confidence interval [CI]: $3,098–$3,216) and without ($3,113, 95% CI: $3,054–$3,172). Among people with CRC, odds of ED use ranged from unchanged to marginally higher for those with no or partial Part D coverage, (adjusted odds ratio: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.00–1.18), compared with those with complete Part D coverage. Lack of continuous Part D coverage was associated with more ED use among Medicare FFS beneficiaries with CRC in 2007–2013. Among people with Part D coverage, prescription drug costs varied little between those with CRC and matched beneficiaries without cancer.
People with colorectal cancer in SEER-Medicare
By Lisa M. Lines, Florence K L Tangka, Sonja Hoover, Sujha Subramanian.
May 2020 Open Access Peer Reviewed
Lines, L. M., Tangka, F. K. L., Hoover, S., & Subramanian, S. (2020). People with colorectal cancer in SEER-Medicare: Part D uptake, costs, and outcomes. RTI Press. RTI Press Publication No. RR-0037-2005 https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2020.rr.0037.2005
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