TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Limiting safety, care

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Letter to the Editor
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

In January 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare implemented a limit on the number of monthly prescriptions for patients on Medicaid. An arbitrary limit of six prescriptions was chosen as a policy to save the state money.

Though there are some exceptions for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, this policy severely limits my sickest patients from obtaining medications they need. Furthermore, physicians and patients are often unaware of the policy until their prescriptions are denied.

I agree on the need to limit growing medical costs, including cutting back on inappropriate prescribing. However, prescription limits have never been shown to improve patient care or decrease costs.

Studies have found costs actually increase as a result of increased hospital admissions and emergency-room visits by patients denied medications. Pennsylvania is no exception, and preliminary data on the limits recently released by the department clearly show an increasing number of emergency-room visits by patients denied medications.

The Medicaid prescription drug limit was designed to save the state money with the hope it would not impact patient care. More emergency-room visits put into question the cost savings. More importantly, arbitrary limits intruding into medical decision-making may impact patient safety and the quality of care I provide.

Cost containment for Medicaid needs to happen. However, the prescription drug limit is an unsafe and likely ineffective measure that needs to be repealed while better alternatives are explored.

John Donehoo

New Sewickley Township

The writer is a pharmacist.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Major issue, no action
  2. Seal the borders
  3. States & secession
  4. Catholicism & science
  5. Not one-sided
  6. Outrageous & delusional
  7. Inspiring & welcome
  8. ‘Deflategate’ fault NFL’s
  9. USW not cause of ATI woes
  10. Bright lines: Budget battle
  11. Be wary of contractor claims