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Many Medicare beneficiaries do not fill high-price specialty drug prescriptions, particularly those that do not receive a low-income subsidy. Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, and colleagues found that beneficiaries receiving subsidies were twice as likely to obtain the prescribed drug than those not receiving subsidies, demonstrating the need to increase the accessibility of high-price medications by reducing out-of-pocket expenses under Medicare Part D.
Kevin Griffith, PhD examined how the pandemic impacted access to substance use disorder treatment services, which are improved with Medicaid services. Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states experienced similar increases in drug and opioid overdose deaths during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a new analysis, researchers from the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found a relationship between the growth of hospitalizations and masking requirements put in place across the state. Hospitals that have more than 75% of their patients from areas without masking requirements in place have seen a relatively faster increase in patients with COVID-19 than hospitals with higher percentages of patients from areas with masking requirements in place.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators are leading a new study that examines the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, within households in Nashville. The study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to understand how fast the infections spread within households and the factors that may be associated with that transmission. This is one of few longitudinal studies in the country that will examine coronavirus infections among close contacts.
by Jake Lowary: Tennessee parents take steps to safeguard opioids at home, an important concern when children are spending more time indoors due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. More than 50% of parents who filled a prescription for an opioid in the past five years kept leftover medication in the home, according to poll results. The Vanderbilt Child Health Poll asked a statewide sample of 1,100 Tennessee parents about their concerns related to children and prescription opioids, which include medications like Vicodin and Percocet. Seventy-eight percent of parents said they worry about children becoming addicted to prescription opioids, yet only 32% are concerned about their own children’s opioid use.
A team including health economists, epidemiologists and a biostatistician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University are amassing and processing data to develop a complex predictive model of the spread of COVID-19 within Tennessee, with region-specific projections, as well as a model of projected resource use during response to the pandemic.