26 Feb Inflation Reduction Act: Implications on Out-Of-Pocket Costs for Patients with Heart Disease Risk Factors
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil
Section Head, Health Policy and Equity,
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research
Associate Program Director
Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Harvard Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: High and rising prescription drug costs in the United States contribute to medication non-adherence and financial strain among adults with cardiovascular risk factors or disease. As a result, addressing prescription drug costs in patients with chronic conditions has become a national priority.
In response to these growing concerns, federal policymakers passed the Inflation Reduction Act on August 16, 2022, which aims to address high out-of-pocket drug costs for adults enrolled in Medicare Part D, by placing a $2000 annual cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and expanding eligibility for full low-income subsidies to individuals that reduce deductible costs and prescription copayments (among several other provisions). It is unclear how these provisions will affect Medicare beneficiaries with cardiovascular risk factors and/or conditions.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Our study estimates that more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease experience out drug costs >$2000 per year, and will likely benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act’s spending cap with estimated total out-of-pocket savings of $1.7 billion per year. Another 1.3 million beneficiaries with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease will become newly eligible for full low-income subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs under the Inflation Reduction Act.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Overall, our findings suggest that the Inflation Reduction Act will have major implications on out-of-pocket costs for patients with cardiovascular risk factors and conditions.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?
Response: Our study provides initial estimates of how two key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act may impact out-of-pocket spending for a higher-risk population – Medicare beneficiaries with cardiovascular risk factors or a disease. Future research will need to assess the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act on out-of-pocket drug costs, medication adherence, and outcomes after all provisions of the policy are fully implemented, as well as the potential spillover effects (e.g. cost shifting) of this policy on commercially-insured patient populations.
Narasimmaraj P, Oseran A, Tale A, et al. Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries with Cardiovascular Risk Factors/Conditions Under the Inflation Reduction Act. J Am Coll Cardiol. null2023, 0 (0) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2023.02.002
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