Medication acquisition across systems of care and patient-provider communication among older veterans

Kevin T. Stroupe, Bridget M. Smith, Timothy P. Hogan, Justin R. St Andre, Walid F. Gellad, Saul Weiner, Todd A. Lee, Muriel Burk, Francesca Cunningham, John D. Piette, Thea J. Rogers, Zhiping Huo, Frances M. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose. The results of a survey assessing Medicare Part D enrollment, the use of pharmacotherapies for chronic diseases, and other medication-use issues in a population of elderly military veterans are presented. Methods. Medicare-eligible (i.e., ≥65 years of age) patients with documented recent service use at a single Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center were targeted for a mail survey. Women were oversampled (20%) to ensure an adequate sample size; the sample was weighted to adjust for this oversampling. Usable survey data were received from 458 survey respondents. Results. Nearly all respondents (93.2%) reported having one or more chronic conditions; of those, 93.3% reported regular use of multiple drug therapies, and 30.1% reported using medications prescribed by both VA and non-VA providers for the same chronic condition. About half of the survey respondents reported at least one office visit with a non-VA physician during the previous year, and 55.8% reported obtaining medications from non-VA pharmacies. More than half (54.1%) of the respondents reported non-VA medication coverage, with 21.2% indicating they were enrolled in Medicare Part D. Among the respondents who reported obtaining medications from non-VA pharmacies, substantial proportions reported discussing those medications with VA physicians never (38.4%) or infrequently (15.7%). Conclusion. Although large proportions of Medicare-eligible veterans take multiple medications and use non-VA health care services and pharmacies, many do not discuss medications obtained outside the VA system with VA physicians, suggesting that increased efforts to enhance provider-patient communication and medication reconciliation across VA and non-VA systems of care may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-813
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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