About 170,000 beneficiaries acquired the same class of frequently abused drugs, primarily hydrocodone and oxycodone, from five or more medical practitioners during 2008 at a cost of about $148 million. About 120,000 of these beneficiaries were eligible for Medicare Part D because of a disability. One beneficiary in Georgia received prescriptions for 3,655 oxycodone pills (a 1,679 day supply) written by 58 prescribers, and the GAO had other similar examples.
To read Kutz’s testimony and the GAO's recommendations, go to http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_id=8c9b7242-4770-457b-a41c-c0f6c7d67f9f.
To learn more about Medicare Part D, see Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/18/6.2.full.
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