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HSRProj (Health Services Research Projects in Progress)

Information about ongoing health services research and public health projects


Creating a patient-centered tool to help Medicare beneficiaries choose prescription drug plans
Investigator (PI): Bundorf, Mary
Performing Organization (PO): (Current): Stanford University, School of Medicine, Department of Health Policy / (650) 723-5082
Supporting Agency (SA): Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
Initial Year: 2014
Final Year: 2019
Record Source/Award ID: PCORI/CDR-1306-03598
Funding: Total Award Amount: $2,138,958
Award Type: Contract
Award Information: PCORI: More information and project results (when completed)
Abstract: Choosing a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is difficult and frustrating for many Medicare beneficiaries. The plans have complicated coverage features including restrictions on which drugs are covered (formularies); most Medicare beneficiaries choose from over 30 plans available in the area in which live; and the plan that provides the most generous coverage differs across patients depending on the set of drugs they take. While the Medicare.gov website provides a tool which allows people to assess how much coverage each plan provides for the drugs they currently take, they must enter by hand all their drug information, which can be difficult and time-consuming, particularly for people with complex prescription drug regimens. In surveys, beneficiaries consistently report difficulty choosing among plans, and a recent study estimated that Medicare beneficiaries would spend much less on prescription drugs (over $300 on average) if they enrolled in a different plan. The objective of our research is to develop and evaluate a patient-centered decision tool which will effectively communicate comparative information to Medicare beneficiaries on their alternatives when choosing prescription drug plans. Evidence from the research literature indicates that providing patients with individually customized information on prescription drug plans, as opposed to simply directing them to a website where they can obtain this information, leads patients to plans that provide more generous coverage. We will extend this research by developing a method to automate the development of individually customized information on the financial consequences for Medicare beneficiaries of enrolling in different plans and a patient-centered approach to communicating information alternative plans. We will evaluate the effectiveness of the decision tool using a randomized, controlled trial in which we compare decision outcomes between patients using the decision tool and those directed to the existing Medicare Plan Finder. We anticipate that the intervention will improve a broad set of patient-centered outcomes including better coverage for prescribed drugs, less decisional conflict when choosing plans, greater satisfaction with the choice process, and greater adherence to prescription drugs. We anticipate that greater adherence will lead to improved health, particularly among older adults with multiple chronic conditions.
MeSH Terms:
  • Automation
  • Decision Making
  • * Decision Support Techniques
  • Humans
  • * Insurance, Pharmaceutical Services
  • Internet
  • Medicare
  • * Medicare Part D
  • Medication Adherence
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Prescription Drugs /*economics
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • United States
Country: United States
State: California
Zip Code: 94305
UI: 20143457
Project Status: Completed
Record History: ('2019: Project extended to 2019 ',) ('2017: Project extended to 2018',)