Purpose. The results of a survey assessing Medicare Part D enrollment, the use of pharmacotherapies for chronic diseases, and other medication-use issues in a population of elderly military veterans are presented. Methods. Medicare-eligible (i.e., ≥65 years of age) patients with documented recent service use at a single Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center were targeted for a mail survey. Women were oversampled (20%) to ensure an adequate sample size; the sample was weighted to adjust for this oversampling. Usable survey data were received from 458 survey respondents. Results. Nearly all respondents (93.2%) reported having one or more chronic conditions; of those, 93.3% reported regular use of multiple drug therapies, and 30.1% reported using medications prescribed by both VA and non-VA providers for the same chronic condition. About half of the survey respondents reported at least one office visit with a non-VA physician during the previous year, and 55.8% reported obtaining medications from non-VA pharmacies. More than half (54.1%) of the respondents reported non-VA medication coverage, with 21.2% indicating they were enrolled in Medicare Part D. Among the respondents who reported obtaining medications from non-VA pharmacies, substantial proportions reported discussing those medications with VA physicians never (38.4%) or infrequently (15.7%). Conclusion. Although large proportions of Medicare-eligible veterans take multiple medications and use non-VA health care services and pharmacies, many do not discuss medications obtained outside the VA system with VA physicians, suggesting that increased efforts to enhance provider-patient communication and medication reconciliation across VA and non-VA systems of care may be warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy