Medicare Part D

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications on this topic completed by the Rural Health Research Centers.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.


  • Medicare Beneficiary Access to Prescription Drugs in Rural Areas
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2022
    Declines in the number of retail pharmacies in rural areas have raised concerns about beneficiary access to prescription medications when their local pharmacy closes. The purpose of this policy brief is to identify the types of pharmacies used by beneficiaries in rural areas with limited or no access to local pharmacies.


  • Medicare-Paid Naloxone: Trends in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Areas
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2021
    Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal medication. Medicare beneficiaries benefit from access to naloxone because they have high rates of high-dose prescription opioids. This brief examines trends in Medicare-paid naloxone dispensing rates in nonmetropolitan versus metropolitan areas from 2014 to 2018.


  • Access to Medicare Part D Plans: A Comparison of Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2020
    This policy brief updates previous reports on rural activity in the Medicare Part D program. Comparisons are made across county type, within type of Part D plan (standalone and part of Medicare Advantage plans), and between the types of plans within county classifications.


  • Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2018
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 07/2018
    Rural pharmacies play an important role in health service delivery to rural populations. This RUPRI Center brief updates previous findings on the continued decline in the number of independently owned rural pharmacies since the implementation of Medicare Part D. This brief provides follow-up data on rural pharmacy closures through March 2018.


  • Rural-Urban Enrollment in Part D Prescription Drug Plans: June 2017 Update
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 12/2017
    As of June 2017, the percentage of rural enrollment in Part D plans, which include stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, lags urban enrollment despite significant growth overall in the number of Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D plans.
  • Financial Issues Challenging Sustainability of Rural Pharmacies
    Journal Article
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2017
    Findings from a survey of rural lone community retail pharmacies about issues perceived as a threat to their sustainability. Reimbursement issues were cited as being most immediate and of highest magnitude.
  • Issues Confronting Rural Pharmacies After a Decade of Medicare Part D
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2017
    This brief reports on a survey of very rural independent pharmacies designed to assess threats to their sustainability. Major, immediate issues included delays in updates to maximum allowable costs (MACS), charges for remuneration fees, competition from mail order pharmacies; and, status as a "non-preferred pharmacy" for Medicare Part D plans.





  • Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans Dominated the Rural Market in 2011
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2012
    This report shows that as of May 2011, 59.1% of rural Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Part D through insurance plans that provide coverage for prescription medications. It also provides further detail, including urban and rural enrollment by type of plan and by state.


  • Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2010
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 06/2011
    This policy brief provides information about the closure of rural, independently owned pharmacies, including pharmacies that are the sole source of access to local pharmacy services, from 2003 through 2010.









  • Access to Rural Pharmacy Services in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2001
    This paper describes the status of rural retail pharmacies in the three states; examines the availability of pharmacy services in rural areas of the states; and analyzes regulatory and policy issues that affect the delivery of pharmacy services in rural areas.


  • Designing a Prescription Drug Benefit for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: Principles, Criteria, and Assessment
    Maine Rural Health Research Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2000
    This paper offers a rural perspective on the debate about the design/implementation of a Medicare prescription drug benefit. Background information on rural Medicare beneficiaries' need for, and access to, prescription drugs is provided, along with a set of rural-oriented principles for use in evaluating how various proposals may meet rural needs.