In Some Regions Of The US Patients Spend On Medicine Is Much More – Part 1 of 3
In Some Regions Of The US Patients Spend On Medicine Is Much More. Medicare patients in some regions of the United States splurge significantly more on drugs than older folks to another place in the country, a new report finds. But higher drug spending doesn’t mean they spend less on doctor visits or hospitalizations, the researchers say. “Our findings support the importance of understanding the drivers of geographic variation, since increases in medical spending or pharmaceutical spending do not appear to be associated with offsetting savings in the other realms,” said lead researcher Yuting Zhang, an second professor of health economics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
So “Spending on pharmaceuticals itself is variable and thus warrants scrutiny similar to that given to medical spending in codification to glean lessons about optimal prescribing, insurance characteristics, and resource allocation”. The report is published online June 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
For the study, Zhang’s crew looked at spending on drugs and other medical services among Medicare patients in 2007 at 306 hospital-referral regions across the country. “Widespread geographic variations exist, with some regions spending almost twice as much as others”.
As corner of their calculations, the researchers considered factors such as differences in costs, insurance and overall health in the different geographic areas. Overall, drugs accounted for more than 20 percent of unalloyed medical costs, but the researchers found substantial regional variations in drug spending.