Medication-related problems are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. They cost more than $100 billion annually. This major public health problem is so important that Medicare has asked its quality improvement organizations (QIOs) and prescription drug programs to support physicians in their efforts to eliminate inappropriate drug use. The Medicare QIO for South Carolina, The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, has joined forces with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to monitor physician prescribing patterns. They will alert physicians of possible adverse drug events related to potentially inappropriate medications (PIM).
We recently mailed information about this project to providers.
If you are interested in more information about PIMs in older adults, read “Updating the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults” in Archives of Internal Medicine . The article includes a list of drugs that are potentially risky for older adults.
For more information, read the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence Drug Safety article or go to its Web site at www.thecarolinascenter.org