|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Cutting Drug Copayments For Sicker Patients Can Cut Hospitalizations and Save Money
RAND’s study found that, at least for cholesterol lowering drugs, lowering co-pays for medicine – thus making them more affordable for patients – could actually increase overall health-care savings.
The study found that when cholesterol-lowering drugs cost less, patients are more likely to take the prescribed medication. As a result, many people have fewer health problems and are hospitalized less often.
Researchers based their findings on estimates that about 6.3 million U.S. adults with private insurance or Medicare coverage take cholesterol-lowering medication. The study says cutting copayments to make the drugs cheaper for the sickest patients would avert nearly 80,000 hospitalizations and more than 31,000 emergency room visits each year – accounting for the more than $1 billion in savings.
The study concluded that “reducing drug copayments for the sickest patients taking certain drugs can be a way to both improve patient care and hold down rising costs.”
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