Web-based patient portal use and medication overlap from VA and private-sector pharmacies among older veterans

Kevin T. Stroupe, Kim Nazi, Timothy P. Hogan, Linda Poggensee, Bonnie Wakefield, Rachael N. Martinez, Bella Etingen, Stephanie Shimada, Katie J. Suda, Zhiping Huo, Lishan Cao, Bridget M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The availability of Medicare Part D pharmacy coverage may increase veterans’ options for obtaining medications outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pharmacies. However, availability of Part D coverage raises the potential that veterans may be receiving similar medications from VA and non-VA pharmacies. The VA’s personal health record portal, My HealtheVet, allows veterans to self-enter the non-VA medications that they obtained from community-based pharmacies, including those reimbursed by Medicare Part D. The Blue Button medication view feature of My HealtheVet allows veterans to view and download their VA and self-entered non-VA medication history. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether the use by veterans of the Blue Button feature of My HealtheVet was associated with less acquisition of similar medications from VA and community-based pharmacies reimbursed by Medicare Part D. METHODS: This study included a national sample of veterans who were new My HealtheVet users during fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012-September 30, 2013) and who used the Blue Button medication view feature of My HealtheVet at least once (users). We compared these veterans with a random sample of veterans who were not registered to use My HealtheVet (nonusers). From these groups, we identified veterans who were enrolled in Part D. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to assess the association of Blue Button medication view use with obtaining medications from the same drug classes (with overlap of 7 or more days) from VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies. RESULTS: There were 7,973 My HealtheVet medication view users and 65,985 nonusers. During a 12-month period, medication view users received more 30-day supplies of medications (one 90-day supply equals three 30-day supplies) than nonusers, on average (152.1 vs 71.3, P<0.001). A larger percentage of users than nonusers obtained medications from VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies with overlapping days supply from the same drug classes (30% vs 23%, P<0.001). However, for veterans who obtained greater numbers of 30-day supplies (82 or more), a significantly smaller percentage of users than nonusers obtained overlapping medications from VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies. Moreover, controlling for the total number of 30-day supplies that veterans received, the odds of obtaining medications from VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies with days supply that overlapped by at least 7 days for the same drug classes was 18% lower for users than nonusers (P=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Veterans who used the Blue Button medication view feature of My HealtheVet obtained a larger number of 30-day supplies of medications from VA pharmacies than nonusers. For veterans who obtained a larger number of 30-day supplies of medications, use of the Blue Button medication view feature of My HealtheVet was associated with less overlap in days supply of medication from the same drug class from VA and Part D-reimbursed pharmacies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-994
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of managed care &amp; specialty pharmacy
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Health Policy

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