University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Editorial Archives
January/February 2006  •  Volume 1, Number 1
From the Editor
The Real 800-Pound Gorilla (PDF, 204K)
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD  •  p. 5
Feature Articles
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage—What It Means for Today and Tomorrow (PDF, 132K)
The introduction of the Medicare prescription drug program will have a major impact on how medicine is practiced not only today, but also in the future. This article reviews the benefits and problems now surfacing with Medicare Part D. The most immediate issue is, and will continue to be, accessing medications, especially for the frail elderly. Rather than simply modernizing Medicare, a more thoughtful process would be to focus on continuous quality improvement in which clinicians lead the way to systems redesigns that optimize outcomes.
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD  •  p. 7
Prevalence and Predictors of Medication-related Problems (PDF, 230K)
A recent study identified the high prevalence and the predictors of medication-related problems (MRPs) among frail elderly people enrolled in a Florida Long-term Care Community Diversion (LTCD) Program. LTCD Programs for the elderly are intended to shift the emphasis from nursing home care to community-based care in a way that help the frail elderly maintain their independence and quality of life. Medication Therapy Management Services available through Medicare may help prevent or defer nursing home placement through clinician practices that identify MRPs, thus improving outcomes and providing a source of practice revenue.
Kevin T. Bain, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP, Douglas J. Weschules, PharmD, BCPS, and Patti Tillotson, PhD  •  p. 14
A Lesson in Pay for Performance (PDF, 163K)
Few concepts in recent years have generated as much conversation and controversy as pay for performance—a reimbursement system that rewards performance. Lauded by legislators and questioned by physicians and other practitioners, pay for performance has been implemented in a variety of settings and pilot programs. By taking a closer look at the basic issues surrounding pay for performance, physicians and others can have a much better understanding of what this concept means to them and how it will impact their patients and practices in the months and years ahead.
Joanne Kaldy  •  p. 28
Improving Access to Medications for Seniors (PDF, 175K)
Navigated correctly, Medicare Part D can provide increased access to prescription drugs for Medicare patients. However, if one takes the wrong tack, Medicare Part D can raise obstacles to accessing these same medications. Changes that need to be made to improve access to medications for all Medicare beneficiaries are reviewed in this article.
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD, Susan B. Connelly, PharmD, Elizabeth Cavallaro, BS, Philip P. Gerbino, PharmD  •  p. 31
Departments
Letters: From CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, MD, PhD  •  p. 10
Medicare Minutes  •  p. 38
Case Study: Medication Management in Action: A New System Reduces Errors, Improves Adherence  •  p. 41
Legal Corner: Medicare Part D: Risks and Opportunities for
Practitioners
  •  p. 43
Resources  •  p. 46
Technology & Information  •  p. 48
Consultation Corner: Obtaining Medications After January 1, 2006: Considerations for Dual Eligibles  •  p. 51
Quick Facts & Stats: Medicare Plan D/Advertiser Index  •  p. 56
Calendar  •  cov. 3
Requests for reprints of Medicare Patient Management articles or permissions to use article content may be sent to Jennifer Kenny at jkenny@healthcommedia.com.
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