In 2003, the Medicare Modernization Act was signed into law. It promises to give those who qualify up to a $600 benefit on prescription medications. Wyoming Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in this program are estimated to save $18 million on an annual basis. As nearly one-third of Wyoming's Medicare beneficiaries are without prescription medication, education on the potential benefits of the Medicare drug card was indicated. Through review of medical literature, Medicare's guidelines, and assistance from a local pharmacist, it was learned that drug companies also offer drug benefits. Therefore, a card which covers most of the patient's medications, or covers the most expensive medication will save the patient the most in the long-term. To promote awareness of the new Medicare drug card, information was presented to Newcastle, Wyoming residents and health care providers in the form of a radio show, public forum, and on an individual basis at the local clinic. The presentation addressed the rules and confounding factors that were pervasive in the other information patients had received. Permanent patient education information was left at the clinic in the form of a brochure, a large print version of the brochure, a table to calculate drug needs of the patient, a list of current drug cards (41) offered in the state of Wyoming through Medicare, and patient education handouts from Medicare.
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