Prescription assistance programs lead to drop in ER visits

A prescription assistance network program, which helps low income people get free and reduced-price medications, led to an overall drop in emergency room visits and hospitalizations among the population served, according to a new study published in the the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy. However, researchers noted that the decrease in ER visits and admissions didn't apply to all types of medications nor ages within the study group--some actually saw increases in hospitalizations and ER visits. The study tracked 310 patients from the Spokane, Washington area over the course of one year before they received prescription assistance in 2012 and one year after. Those patients who received pulmonary medications showed the larges decrease in acute care services. However, patients who received psychotropic medications for mental health conditions saw an increase in acute care services. Study announcement