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Better compliance with heart failure drugs saved Medicare $2.3 billion

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 3, 2013

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Adherence to medicine regimens to manage congestive heart failure has saved Medicare billions of dollars, according to a study posted online in The American Journal of Managed Care.

More than 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries with congestive heart failure were enrolled in a Part D drug plan in 2010, authors stated in the May 14 article (link).

Patients adhering to their prescribed medication orders spend fewer days in the hospital compared with beneficiaries with the same chronic condition who do not take their medicines — leading to Medicare savings. An analysis showed that the program saved $1,827 per beneficiary for Medicare patients with congestive heart failure and Part D coverage. In 2012, a total of $2.3 billion in savings to Medicare was found when the costs of the medication were subtracted.

“The increasing prevalence of CHF among the Medicare population highlights the importance of initiatives to manage the high medical costs associated with this disease,” researchers wrote. “Evidence consistently demonstrates a strong connection between better medication use and reductions in other medical expenditures.”

Projections show that Medicare will save $26.9 billion with improved medication compliance during the next decade.

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