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Articles by J. H. Gurwitz
Total Records ( 2 ) for J. H. Gurwitz
  Y Chen , B. A Briesacher , T. S Field , J Tjia , D. T Lau and J. H. Gurwitz
 

Background  Serious safety concerns related to the use of antipsychotics have not decreased the prescribing of these agents to nursing home (NH) residents. We assessed the extent to which resident clinical characteristics and institutional prescribing practice were associated with antipsychotic prescribing.

Methods  Antipsychotic prescribing was assessed for a nationwide, cross-sectional population of 16 586 newly admitted NH residents in 2006. We computed facility-level antipsychotic rates based on the previous year's (2005) prescribing patterns. Poisson regressions with generalized estimating equations were used to identify the likelihood of resident-level antipsychotic medication use in 2006, given 2005 facility-level prescribing pattern and NH resident indication for antipsychotic therapy (psychosis, dementia, and behavioral disturbance).

Results  More than 29% (n = 4818) of study residents received at least 1 antipsychotic medication in 2006. Of the antipsychotic medication users, 32% (n = 1545) had no identified clinical indication for this therapy. Residents entering NHs with the highest facility-level antipsychotic rates were 1.37 times more likely to receive antipsychotics relative to those entering the lowest prescribing rate NHs, after adjusting for potential clinical indications (risk ratio [RR], 1.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-1.51). The elevated risk associated with facility-level prescribing rates was apparent for only NH residents with dementia but no psychosis (RR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.23-1.59) and residents without dementia or psychosis (RR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.24-1.91).

Conclusions  The NH antipsychotic prescribing rate was independently associated with the use of antipsychotics in NH residents. Future research is needed to determine why such a prescribing culture exists and whether it could result in adverse health consequences.

  B. A Briesacher , S. B Soumerai , T. S Field , H Fouayzi and J. H. Gurwitz
 

Background  Medicare Part D excludes benzodiazepine medications from coverage, and some state Medicaid programs also limit coverage. We assessed whether such policies decrease the risk of fractures in elderly individuals living in nursing homes.

Methods  This is a quasi-experimental study with interrupted time-series estimation and extended Cox proportional hazards models comparing changes in outcomes before and after implementation of Medicare Part D in a nationwide sample of nursing home residents in 48 states. The study included 1 068 104 residents and a subsample of 50 874 residents with fracture data from 1 pharmacy. We assessed monthly prescribing rates of benzodiazepines and potential substitutes from January 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007, and hazard ratios for incident hip fracture and falls, adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Estimates were stratified by concurrent Medicaid limits on benzodiazepines: no supplemental coverage (1 state), partial supplemental coverage (6 states), or complete supplemental coverage (41 states).

Results  The no-supplemental-coverage policy resulted in an immediate and significant reduction of 10 absolute points in benzodiazepine use (27.0% to 17.0%) after Medicare Part D was implemented (95% confidence interval, –0.11 to –0.09; P < .001). Benzodiazepine use remained stable in the partial-supplemental- and complete-supplemental-coverage states. Hazard ratios for incident hip fracture were 1.60 (95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 2.45; P = .03) in the no-supplemental-coverage state after Medicare Part D implementation and 1.17 (95% confidence interval, 0.93 to 1.46; P = .18) in the partial-supplemental-coverage states, relative to complete-supplemental-coverage states.

Conclusion  Supplemental drug coverage exclusion policies affect the medication use of nursing home residents and may not decrease their fracture risk.

 
 
 
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