Elderly Patients in the South More Likely to Receive High-Risk Medications

April 19, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


A study found that elderly patients routinely receive high-risk medications, with roughly 21% of older patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans receiving prescriptions for a high-risk medication in 2009 and almost 5% receiving two, concludes a study published in the April 2013 Journal of General Internal Medicine. The findings suggest the need for physicians and patients to carefully consider safer alternative drugs when possible. Retrospective analysis of more than six million enrollees age 65 or older revealed that people living in the southern regions of the United States, whites, women, and people with a low personal income and socioeconomic status are more likely to receive high-risk medications. These high-risk medications included some of the 110 drugs that the National Committee for Quality Assurance recommends avoiding in elderly patients.

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