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Potentially Inappropriate Meds Tied to Health Care Use, Costs

PIM prescribing linked to more hospitalizations, ED and outpatient visits in older adults

man looking at the prescription pills

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) prescribing is associated with increased health care utilization and costs among U.S. adults aged 65 years and older, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Collin M. Clark, Pharm.D., from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in New York, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving a community-dwelling sample of U.S. adults aged 65 years and older during the first round of each Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The association between PIM exposure and health care utilization was examined.

The researchers found that over the five-year sample, the period prevalence of PIM prescribing was 34.4 percent. There was a positive association for PIM prescribing with hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and outpatient provider visits (adjusted incidence rate ratios, 1.17, 1.26, and 1.18, respectively). Associations were also seen for PIM exposure with higher marginal costs of outpatient visits, prescription medications, and total health care expenditures ($116, $128, and $458, respectively). In propensity score analyses, the results were similar.

"Our results suggest that PIM use is associated with increased health care utilization and costs across the health care continuum. Interventions are needed to target unnecessary and inappropriate medications in older adults," the authors write. "Deprescribing is currently in its infancy in the United States, and further work is needed to implement these interventions to reduce unnecessary health care utilization."

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