Medicare Modernization Act: Reality for Rural Beneficiaries and Providers

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2006
Project completed:
March 2008
This project will focus on two areas of new activity in Medicare beneficiary participation in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and prescription drug plans and implementation of the new Part D benefit through private health plans. This project is the equivalent of two projects. In one project, we will describe enrollment into specific types of MA prescription drug plans and other prescription drug plans, and analyze differences across regions, states, and types of counties. In another project, we will collaborate with the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center to examine the impact of the transfer to Part D coverage on rural dual eligibles and local pharmacies.

We will use national databases to assess participation of pharmacies in prescription drug plans in which rural beneficiaries have enrolled, and the impact of the new program as related to pharmacy closure. We will also complete a qualitative study of the impacts of Part D by interviewing independent pharmacists, state Medicaid agency staff, and state pharmacy association staff.

We will produce policy briefs and a policy paper, submit abstracts to national meetings, and submit a manuscript for journal publication.