Effect of Medicare Part D Benzodiazepine Exclusion on Psychotropic Use in Benzodiazepine Users
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2012
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 7, pages 1292–1297, July 2012
How to Cite
Ong, M. K., Xu, H., Zhang, L., Azocar, F. and Ettner, S. L. (2012), Effect of Medicare Part D Benzodiazepine Exclusion on Psychotropic Use in Benzodiazepine Users. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 1292–1297. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04031.x
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2012
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Medicare Part D;
- psychotropic use;
- psychotropic expenditures
To evaluate the effect of the Medicare benzodiazepine coverage exclusion on psychotropic use of benzodiazepine users.
Pre–post design with concurrent control group.
Intervention and comparison cohorts of individuals drawn from the same insurer who were prescribed benzodiazepines through the end of 2005. Intervention participants (n = 19,339) were elderly adults from a large, national Medicare Advantage plan subject to benzodiazepine exclusion as a result of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA). Comparison participants (n = 3,488) were near-elderly individuals enrolled in a managed care plan not subject to the MMA benzodiazepine exclusion.
Any psychotropic drug use and expenditures.
In the intervention cohort, benzodiazepine use and expenditures significantly declined from 100% and $134 in 2005 to 74.8% and $59, respectively, in 2007. Nonbenzodiazepine psychotropic drug use and expenditures significantly increased from 35.8% and $163 in 2005 to 39.5% and $207, respectively, in 2007. In the comparison cohort, benzodiazepine use and expenditures also significantly declined from 100% and $173 in 2005 to 57.5% and $105, respectively, in 2007, but nonbenzodiazepine psychotropic drug use and expenditures significantly declined from 55.4% and $647 in 2005 to 45.1% and $572, respectively, in 2007. Changes in antidepressant and anxiolytic use were the primary cause of changes in nonbenzodiazepine psychotropic drugs in both cohorts.
Use of benzodiazepines continued in elderly adults despite negative financial incentives, possibly because of the low costs of such medications. Although some substitution occurred with antidepressants and anxiolytics, the magnitude of this increase did not fully offset the reduction in benzodiazepine use.