OBJECTIVE: To assess use of sedative/hypnotic agents in Texas Medicaid patients and evaluate practitioner receptiveness to intervention letters concerning sedative/hypnotic prescribing generated by the Texas Medicaid Drug Utilization Review (DUR) Board. DESIGN: Retrospective DUR. SETTING: Texas Medicaid retrospective DUR program. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: 244 Texas Medicaid patients and 291 Texas physicians. INTERVENTION: Patient profiles for Texas Medicaid patients were reviewed retrospectively to quantify sedative/hypnotic prescribing practices. Intervention letters were prepared and sent to physicians directly involved in the care of patients receiving excessive sedative/hypnotic therapy. Physician responses were categorized based on information presented in the intervention letter and circumstances surrounding the identified patient. Prescribing practices were assessed approximately 1 year after the intervention to determine the impact of intervention letters on prescribing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Physician response to intervention letter. RESULTS: Responses were received from 208 of 291 physicians (71.5%). Approximately 40% of physicians agreed in principle with the suggestions offered by the Texas Medicaid DUR Board to minimize chronic sedative/hypnotic use. Almost one-half of these physicians had discontinued sedative/hypnotic therapy for the identified patients 1 year after the intervention. Approximately 9% justified continued sedative/hypnotic use based on patient diagnosis or refractory response to treatment, and 55 physicians (26.4%) were unwilling to alter therapy because of patient-specific factors. CONCLUSION: Through the use of retrospective DUR, Texas Medicaid patients receiving excessive amounts of sedative/hypnotic agents were identified and improvements in sedative/hypnotic therapy were initiated. DUR can be useful not only in identifying problem areas, but also in encouraging physicians to modify prescribing practices through educational means.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (Washington,D.C. : 1996)|
|State||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science