The goal of this research was to determine if the Pharmaceutical Care Services Program (PCSP) significantly changes the utilization and cost of medical services for Medicaid recipients. The University of Maryland Center on Drug and Public Policy (CDPP) has contracted with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to provide pharmaceutical care services for Maryland Medicaid recipients. The main goal of PCSP is to improve the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of physician prescribing decisions and patient drug use. The program accomplishes this by placing clinical pharmacists in hospital clinics to review drug therapy and provide advice to physicians and counseling to patients. A quasi-experimental pretest and post-test design with three control groups was performed in this study. The subjects who received PCSP and met the study criteria were the study group. The subjects who were Medicaid enrollees and relatively similar to the study subjects in terms of age, sex, hospital, and ACG (ambulatory care group) classification were randomly selected into the control groups by using a multiple computerized matching process. Differences in utilization and cost of medical services between study and control groups were tested for statistical significance. Cost-benefit analyses were then performed from budgetary and societal perspectives by applying a net present value method. The mortality and morbidity productivity loss estimations were specifically addressed as the indirect benefits in this study. Lastly, a sensitivity analysis was performed to test the assumptions (discount rate and wage rate) underlying the analysis. In this study, the utilization and costs comparisons between the PCSP patients and control patients revealed that: (1) PCSP "capped" the total cost of services by holding them constant while the control groups' costs rose sufficiently to create a significant difference between the PCSP and control groups; (2) specialty care physician visits remained stable for PCSP while increasing in the control groups; (3) primary care physician visits remained stable for PCSP recipients while they declined in the control groups; (4) less prescription medication was used in PCSP group than in the control group; (5) while the total cost of prescriptions increased for both groups, the cost of PCSP prescriptions was less than the control group cost; (6) PCSP showed no significant impact on the use of the emergency room and hospitalizations. The cost-benefit analysis illustrates that PCSP saved the Medicaid program $204.32 per patient for the first year intervention and $2,043.20 for the future 10 years from a budgetary perspective. From a societal perspective, PCSP saved society $4,116.01 per patient for the future 10 years period. Theoretically, if PCSP were expanded to serve all Medicaid, adult, non-institutionalized patients receiving drug therapy, the state of Maryland should be able to save as much as $27 million in the next fiscal year from a budgetary perspective. The society should be able to save as much as $259 million in the next fiscal year from both direct and indirect savings.
Abciximab is an antiplatelet inhibitor used in conjunction with percutaneous revascularization procedures to decrease the risk of ischemic complications such as death, nonfatal MI or subsequent revascularization procedures like angioplasty or CABG. Although the efficacy of abciximab is rarely disputed based on evidence from three large clinical trials, the cost-effectiveness of the drug when used during routine practice has been questioned since it costs approximately $1,350 per patient treated. This study was undertaken to estimate the effectiveness of abciximab in patients treated at University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) defined as the cost per event avoided. The composite endpoint consisted of death, MI or subsequent revascularization procedure over 6-months of follow-up. Proportional hazards regression revealed that abciximab was associated with a lower risk of ischemic events among patients with more severe angiographic morphology. Patients who received a shortened infusion of the drug (<10 hours) were at a greater risk of experiencing an event than those who received an infusion for 10-14 hours. Also, patients who underwent coronary stenting were less likely to have an event while patients with multivessel disease or a history of a percutaneous revascularization procedure were at a higher risk of experiencing an event. The cost-effectiveness analysis was performed for a subgroup of patients with more severe coronary morphology using a matched cohort design. The point estimate of the ICER revealed that it cost about $20,680 to prevent an ischemic event over six months in high-risk patients treated with abciximab. Confidence intervals for the ICER were computed using Taylor series approximation, Fieller's theorem and bootstrapping, and were graphically represented with ellipses of equal probability. Overall, the data were consistent with a wide range of plausible estimates due to a relatively small denominator in the ICER.
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