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Caregiver and provider perspectives on dual VA and Medicare Part D medication use in veterans with suspected dementia or cognitive impairment.

Schleiden LJ, Zickmund SL, Roman KL, Kennedy K, Thorpe JM, Rossi MI, Niznik JD, Springer SP, Thorpe CT. Caregiver and provider perspectives on dual VA and Medicare Part D medication use in veterans with suspected dementia or cognitive impairment. American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2022 Jan 5; 79(2):94-101.

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Abstract:

PURPOSE: Many older veterans with dementia fill prescriptions through both Veterans Affairs (VA) and Medicare Part D benefits. Dual VA/Part D medication use may have unintended negative consequences in terms of prescribing safety and quality. We aimed to characterize benefits and drawbacks of dual VA/Part D medication use in veterans with dementia or cognitive impairment from the perspectives of caregivers and providers. METHODS: This was a qualitative study based on semistructured telephone interviews of 2 groups: (1) informal caregivers accompanying veterans with suspected dementia or cognitive impairment to visits at a VA Geriatric Evaluation and Management clinic (n = 11) and (2) VA healthcare providers of veterans with dementia who obtained medications via VA and Part D (n = 12). We conducted semistructured telephone interviews with caregivers and providers about benefits and drawbacks of dual VA/Part D medication use. Interview transcripts were subjected to qualitative content analysis to identify key themes. RESULTS: Caregivers and providers both described cost and convenience benefits to dual VA/Part D medication use. Caregivers reported drawbacks including poor communication between VA and non-VA providers and difficulty managing medications from multiple systems. Providers reported potential safety risks including communication barriers, conflicting care decisions, and drug interactions. CONCLUSION: Results of this study allow for understanding of potential policy interventions to better manage dual VA/Part D medication use for older veterans with dementia or cognitive impairment at a time when VA is expanding access to non-VA care.





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