Monitoring Physician Dispensing Reforms in Pennsylvania

By Dongchun Wang, Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu

May 17, 2018 Related Topics: Physician Dispensing, Prescription Drugs and Opioids

This study examines the impact of Pennsylvania House Bill 1846—which changed the reimbursement rules by capping the prices paid for physician-dispensed drugs and restricting physicians’ ability to dispense opioids and other drugs to limited time frames—on the frequency and costs of physician dispensing.

The study also examines the changes in dispensing patterns after the reforms and monitors the changes in the prevalence and costs of prescription drugs in Pennsylvania. The emergence of new pharmacies in Pennsylvania whose revenues were predominantly from compound drugs is also explored.

The study used detailed transaction data for physician- and pharmacy-dispensed prescriptions filled in 2013 through 2016 that were within 24 months of the date of injury. The data used for this report came from payors that represent 47 percent of all medical claims in Pennsylvania.

Monitoring Physician Dispensing Reforms in Pennsylvania. Vennela Thumula, Te-Chun Liu, and Dongchun Wang. May 2018. WC-18-20.

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Research Questions:

  • Did injured workers continue to receive prescription drugs at the same rate after the reforms?
  • Did the prices paid for physician-dispensed drugs decrease post-reform?
  • Did physicians continue to dispense after the reforms?

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