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A prenatal care case-management program in Tennessee was evaluated to determine its effectiveness in improving the adequacy of prenatal care reducing the odds of preterm birth (gestation less than 37 weeks) and very low birth weight births (less than 1,500 g). The case-management program, Project HUG, included care provider referrals, visit scheduling, assistance with transportation and nutritional and health education. In a cohort of 66,051 Medicaid women with a birth during the period July 1989 through December 1991, 6% received HUG services. HUG participants had improved utilization of prenatal care, significantly decreased odds of inadequate perinatal care (an odds ratio of 0.71) and significantly increased odds of obtaining prenatal vitamins within 120 days of the last menstrual period (1.79). The apparent benefit of Project HUG was greater among blacks than among whites. However, there was no significant reduction in the incidence of preterm births or very low birth weight births among program participants
OBJECTIVES - To describe the changes in antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes during the period surrounding the implementation of federal legislation designed to reduce unnecessary use (the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 [OBRA-87]) and to identify nursing home characteristics associated with such changes.
DESIGN - Longitudinal study of 9432 Tennessee Medicaid enrollees 65 years of age or older who continuously resided in Tennessee from April 1, 1989, to September 30, 1991, a 30-month period surrounding implementation of OBRA-87.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Changes in the use of antipsychotic and other psychotropic drugs.
RESULTS - During the 30-month period, antipsychotic drug use decreased from 23.9 to 17.5 days per 100 days of residence, a 26.7% decline (P < .001), which resulted from both a decrease in new users (P < .001) and a reduction in long-term use of antipsychotic drugs (P < .001). There was no concomitant increase in other psychotropic drug use. A multivariate analysis revealed that changes in antipsychotic use were strongly associated with baseline antipsychotic use (P = .001) and third-shift staffing levels (P = .003). Nursing homes with baseline antipsychotic drug use and third-shift staffing above the median reduced antipsychotic drug use by 41%, compared with a 2% increase in nursing homes where both of these factors were below the median (P < .0001).
CONCLUSIONS - A substantial decrease in antipsychotic drug use coincided with the implementation of OBRA-87. Although this decrease is consistent with an improvement in quality of nursing home care, further research is needed to determine the effects of this legislation on resident outcomes.
Our objective was (1) to identify the subgroup of women most affected by the regulatory change expanding Tennessee Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 45% of the federal poverty level to 100% and (2) to examine whether increased enrollment correlated with greater use of prenatal care and improved reproductive outcomes. We linked Tennessee birth and fetal death certificates to Medicaid enrollment files. We compare outcome rates in the 12-month period before the change in the Medicaid regulations with similar rates for the 10-month period after the change had been in effect nine months. We found the increase in Medicaid enrollment that occurred after the expansion was greatest for teenage mothers. Among teens, Medicaid enrollment increased 18%, and the odds of receiving no prenatal care or only late (third-trimester) care were reduced 16% (95% confidence interval = 8%, 24%) after we controlled for potential confounders. However, there was no improvement in first-trimester use of prenatal care or in birth outcomes. This finding suggests the need to evaluate carefully subsequent regulatory changes, which sought to promote early prenatal care by removing barriers to early Medicaid enrollment in pregnancy.
OBJECTIVES - "Presumptive eligibility" permits pregnant prospective Medicaid enrollees to obtain services during the application period. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of presumptive eligibility on the receipt of prenatal care and the occurrence of low-birthweight births and neonatal, perinatal, and infant mortality.
METHODS - Outcome rates for pregnant women who enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid in the 6-month period before presumptive eligibility was enacted were compared with those obtained for pregnant women who enrolled in the 6-month period after presumptive eligibility had been in effect for 5 months.
RESULTS - Women in the "after" group were 40% more likely to enroll and 30% more likely to obtain prenatal care in the first trimester. They were 300% more likely to fill a prescription for prenatal vitamins in the first trimester and 16% more likely to have begun prenatal care before the third trimester. However, they were similar to those enrolling in the "before" time period in terms of the occurrence of adverse perinatal outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS - When barriers to prenatal care, including bureaucratic ones, are removed, low-income women will seek care earlier and more frequently.
To determine the incidence rate of serious ulcer disease among users and nonusers of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a retrospective cohort study was done on 103,954 elderly Tennessee Medicaid recipients with 209,068 person-years of follow-up from 1984 to 1986. There were 1,371 patients hospitalized with peptic ulcer disease or upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage identified by Medicaid hospital claims and verified by review of the medical record. Ulcer hospitalization rates by NSAID exposure category, duration of use, and daily dose were determined. The rates of ulcer hospitalization among nonusers and current users of NSAIDs were 4.2 and 16.7 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, an excess rate among current users of 12.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 11.4-13.6) per 1,000 person-years. Among new users, the ulcer hospitalization rates were 26.3 per 1,000 person-years during the first 30 days of use and 20.9 per 1,000 person-years over the next 31-180 days, representing excess ulcer hospitalization rates of 22.1 (95% CI 18.6-25.6) and 16.7 (95% CI 13.1-20.1) per 1,000 person-years, respectively. For long-term users (180 days or more of continuous NSAID use), the ulcer hospitalization rate remained elevated at 15.3, an excess of 12.0 (95% CI 10.3-13.6) hospitalizations per 1,000 person-years. The excess hospitalization rates per 1,000 person-years increased with increasing dose from 6.0 (95% CI 4.0-8.0) for the lowest dose category to 17.8 (95% CI 15.5-20.1) for the highest. The excess rate of ulcer hospitalization for elderly NSAID users is high. These drugs should be used with caution in elderly persons, and alternatives to NSAID therapy should be strongly considered.
BACKGROUND - Prior authorization--mandatory advance approval for the use of expensive medications--is now the primary method by which Medicaid programs control expenditures for drugs. However, whether this policy reduces expenditures for specific drugs without causing the unwanted substitution of other drugs or medical services has been largely unstudied. We evaluated the effects of a prior-authorization policy involving nongeneric nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the Medicaid program in Tennessee.
METHODS - We compared monthly Medicaid expenditures that were potentially affected by the policy change during the year before and the two years after its implementation. We studied prescriptions for NSAIDs, other analgesic or antiinflammatory drugs, and psychotropic drugs, as well as outpatient services and inpatient admissions for the management of pain or inflammation.
RESULTS - At the midpoint of the base-line year, 495,821 people were enrolled in Medicaid. During that year, mean annualized Medicaid expenditures for NSAID prescriptions amounted to $22.41. Expenditures decreased by 53 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 48 to 57 percent) during the next two years, for an estimated savings of $12.8 million. The reduction in expenditures resulted from the increased use of generic NSAIDs, as well as from a 19 percent decrease in overall NSAID use (95 percent confidence interval, 13 to 25 percent). There was no concomitant increase in Medicaid expenditures for other medical care. Regular users of nongeneric NSAIDs, those most affected by the policy change, had similar reductions in NSAID expenditures and use, with no increase in expenditures for other medical care.
CONCLUSIONS - Prior-authorization requirements may be highly cost effective with regard to expenditures for NSAIDs, drugs that have very similar efficacy and safety but substantial variation in cost.
Nursing home care in the United States is financed primarily through the federal-state Medicaid program. Because Medicaid nursing home programs are administered within the individual states, there may be interstate differences in the characteristics of Medicaid nursing home residents and their utilization of medical care. We used Medicaid claims and enrollment data for calendar 1981 from three large states--Michigan, California, and New York--to study this question. We found that the populations of elderly Medicaid nursing home residents in each of the three states had similar characteristics. In contrast to the homogeneity of resident characteristics, there were pronounced interstate differences in the use of medical care, particularly for the relation between nursing homes and hospitals. California was characterized by frequent turnover among elderly Medicaid nursing home residents and a high rate of transfers to and from hospitals. One third of residents entered the nursing home in the study year, 43% of enterers came from the hospital, and 51% of enterers were discharged within 180 days of admission, usually to the community. In New York, both turnover among elderly Medicaid nursing home residents and interinstitutional transfers were less frequent. However, those residents entering from the hospital had an average pre-entry hospital stay of 60 days, three to five times that of the other two states. Medicaid payments per day of nursing home care totaled +60 per day, twice those in the other two states. Michigan was characterized by patterns of medical care utilization intermediate between these two extremes. These findings suggest caution in the interpretation of single-state studies of nursing home residents, particularly for those of the dynamic relation between nursing homes and hospitals. They also suggest that further study of the experience of the individual states could provide valuable insights into the effects of different levels of nursing home reimbursement and different policies for transfers between nursing homes and hospitals.
Because of the high prevalence of prescription drug use and the incomplete understanding of drug effects at the time of licensing, ongoing epidemiologic monitoring is required to provide information for clinical and regulatory decisions. Data produced through the administration of Medicaid programs have been considered for this purpose because the computerized files include prescription and diagnostic information for large, defined populations. However, the limited amount of data available in the computerized files and the atypical demographic characteristics of Medicaid populations create formidable difficulties in the use of these data for pharmacoepidemiology. This paper reviews these methodological problems and describes pragmatic solutions that have been developed through the ongoing use of these data bases for epidemiologic studies.
Recent studies of patients with hip fractures from two hospitals have suggested that the marked reduction in length of stay that occurred following implementation of the Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) resulted in decreased quality of care for these patients. To assess whether this change influenced mortality, we studied patients with hip fractures aged 65 years or older from a 20% sample of Michigan Medicare enrollees. There were 2130 such patients in the 2 years preceding (October 1981 through September 1983) and 2238 in the 2 years following (October 1984 through September 1986) implementation of PPS. Although the demographic characteristics of patients with hip fractures did not change after PPS, the mean length of stay (95% confidence interval) decreased by 4.4 (4.1 to 4.7) days. However, mortality in the year following the fracture did not change: 23.2% before PPS, 23.7% after PPS; rate difference of 0.5% (-2.0 to 3.0). This finding was consistently present within subgroups defined by patient demographic characteristics. Furthermore, when the analysis was restricted to patients treated in those hospitals with the greatest reduction in average length of stay following PPS (7.5 days, or 35%), there was no significant change in 1-year mortality. For those patients who were enrolled in Medicaid and not in a nursing home at the time of the fracture, there was no increase in the rate of nursing home residence 1 year after the fracture. Thus, the findings of this population-based study suggest that the key outcomes of postfracture mortality and nursing home residence were not affected by the implementation of PPS.