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Tips can aid Medicare beneficiaries in 'doughnut hole'

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Recent reports of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who have been caught in the doughnut hole have related how some have cut back on medications.

Recent reports of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who have been caught in the "doughnut hole" have related how some have cut back on medications. According to Marissa Schlaifer, director of Pharmacy Affairs for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, this is a dangerous thing to do and could seriously affect the health and well-being of patients.

"Many medications do not produce any noticeable differences in how a patient feels, so sometimes a patient will decide they can 'do without.' This is dangerous thinking, accounting for as many as 68,000 unnecessary deaths a year from poorly controlled blood pressure alone, and as much as 20% of all hospital and nursing home admissions," she said.

There are several important things that can aid all Medicare Part D beneficiaries to avoid falling into the doughnut hole in the first place, or, if that's not possible, to get through the gap.

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