Medicare Monday: Positive impact of Part D on America’s seniors

Nicole Longo   |     June 5, 2017   |   SHARE THIS


Implementation of Medicare Part D significantly increased access to medicines for seniors and for those under age 65 with permanent disabilities. Since then, Part D has contributed to significant reductions in medication nonadherence and hospitalization, which has led to improved health and life expectancy among America’s seniors. Today, we’re looking at these improvements and how they have positively impacted beneficiaries.

  1. Improved Adherence to Medicines: As a result of Part D, 90 percent of beneficiaries have comprehensive drug coverage, and studies have found improved rates of adherence to medicines. One study found that increased access to medicines through Part D led to improved adherence among congestive heart failure patients, resulting in nearly $2.3 billion in annual savings in Medicare expenditures among those beneficiaries.


  1. Fewer Hospitalizations: Another study found that enrolling in Medicare Part D was tied to an 8 percent decrease in hospital admissions for seniors. And that decrease was more substantial for certain conditions, such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


  1. Longer Life Expectancy: Since Part D was implemented in 2006, nearly 200,000 beneficiaries have lived at least 1 year longer. What’s more, one study found an average increase in longevity of 3.3 years. Another recent study found that mortality rates for the elderly have decreased 2.2 percent annually since Part D implementation. The study concludes this was due, in part, to the decrease in deaths as a result of cardiovascular disease among seniors since Part D was established.

When considering proposals to change Part D, it is important to keep in mind that our nation’s seniors rely on this critical program to help them maintain active, healthy lives.

Learn more about Medicare Part D at PhRMA.org/PartD.

Nicole Longo

Nicole Longo Nicole is director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Topics: Adherence, Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday

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