The Effect of a Plan Type and Comprehensive Medication Reviews on High-Risk Medication Use

Clinical Evidence | 2 Minute Read

Published by: Armando Silva Almodovar, PharmD; David Rhys Axon, MPharm, MS; Ashley M. Coleman, PharmD; Terri Warholak, PhD; Milap C. Nahata , MS, PharmD

Background: In 2007, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a star rating system using performance outcome measures to assess Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) and Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) providers.

Objective: To assess the relationship between 2 performance outcome measures for Medicare insurance providers, comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs), and high-risk medication use.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included Medicare Part C and Part D performance data from the 2014 and 2015 calendar years. Performance data were downloaded per Medicare contract from the CMS. We matched Medicare insurance provider performance data with the enrollment data of each contract. Mann Whitney U and Spearman rho tests and a hierarchical linear regression model assessed the relationship between provider characteristics, high-risk medication use, and CMR completion rate outcome measures.

Results: In 2014, an inverse correlation between CMR completion rate and high-risk medication use was identified among MAPD plan providers. This relationship was further strengthened in 2015. No correlation was detected between the CMR completion rate and high-risk medication use among PDP plan providers in either year. A multivariate regression found an inverse association with high-risk medication use among MAPD plan providers in comparison with PDP plan providers in 2014 (beta = -0.358, P < 0.001) and 2015 (beta = -0.350, P < 0.001), the CMR completion rate in 2015 (beta = -0.221, P < 0.001), and enrollee population size in 2015 (beta = -0.203, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: This study found that MAPD plan providers and higher CMR completion rates were associated with lower use of high-risk medications among beneficiaries.

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