Analysis of the North Carolina long-term care polypharmacy initiative: a multiple-cohort approach using propensity-score matching for both evaluation and targeting.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The high cost and undesirable consequences of polypharmacy are well-recognized problems among elderly long-term care (LTC) residents. Despite the implementation of the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which requires pharmacist review of drug regimens in this setting, medical and drug costs for LTC residents have continued to increase. OBJECTIVE This study evaluates the North Carolina Long-Term Care Polypharmacy Initiative, a large-scale medication therapy management program (MTMP) that combined drug utilization review activities with drug regimen review techniques. METHODS This was a prospective records-based study that used a difference-in-difference model with both historical and nonintervention group controls. To ensure equivalence among subjects, propensity scoring was used to match study subjects from participating LTC facilities with comparison subjects from nonparticipating facilities. Residents with interventions were grouped for analysis by intervention type-retrospective only, prospective only, or dual type (residents with both prospective and retrospective interventions)-and by intervention stage-review, recommendation, and drug change-plus an all-inclusive "all types" grouping that aggregated groups by intervention type, for a total of 10 total cohorts. RESULTS In the overall population of 5255 study subjects identified, a US $21.63 per member per month drug-cost savings was observed. Although only 1 of 10 cohorts had a change in the number of drug fills, substantial reductions in 2 of 5 types of drug alerts were observed in all 10 cohorts. A reduction in the relative risk for hospitalization (0.84 [95% CI, 0.71-1.00]) was observed in the cohort of residents receiving a retrospective review. CONCLUSIONS This Initiative suggests that an MTMP can be quickly launched in a large number of LTC facility residents to produce monetary drug-cost savings and improved health outcomes. Additionally, the evaluation of this program illustrates the utility of using propensity scoring techniques to target future intervention groups in a cost-effective manner.

DOI: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2009.09.006

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Cite this paper

@article{Trygstad2009AnalysisOT, title={Analysis of the North Carolina long-term care polypharmacy initiative: a multiple-cohort approach using propensity-score matching for both evaluation and targeting.}, author={Troy Trygstad and Dale B Christensen and Steve E Wegner and Rob Sullivan and Jennifer M Garmise}, journal={Clinical therapeutics}, year={2009}, volume={31 9}, pages={2018-37} }