Nursing Home Residents and Medicare Part D

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<p>Among the groups most likely to be helped by the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit are nursing home residents, according to a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=20929&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D358453%26%23doc358453">new study.</a><br><br>Writing in the new issue of the journal <em>Medical Care,</em> a Commonwealth Fund-supported research team led by the University of Maryland's Bruce Stuart, Ph.D., finds that an estimated one-fifth of those living in nursing homes were without any prescription coverage in 2001. Of those, more than a third had incomes below the federal poverty level, while another third had incomes between 100 and 200 percent of poverty.<br><br>Stuart and colleagues also note that many low-income nursing home residents will likely qualify for subsidized coverage under Part D.Given that over half of nursing home residents on Medicare also qualify for Medicaid, many may experience difficulties with the new benefit similar to those encountered so far by dually eligible Medicare beneficiaries in the community. It will be important, the authors say, to monitor residents' access to needed medications throughout the transition from Medicaid to Medicare drug coverage.</p>