Author's School

Brown School of Social Work

Author's Department/Program

Social Work


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Edward Lawlor


The implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit: "Part D") has brought about many changes in the provision of prescription medications to adults with serious mental illness. Existing research on the impact of Part D on this population, for the most part, examines the benefit from the perspective of the physicians who treat these individuals. This research seeks to use a framework of patient-centered care to examine the impact of the Part D benefit on adults with mental illness, from the viewpoints of beneficiaries themselves and the case managers: "community support workers") who serve them. In addition, data from the Medicare Web site and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are used to examine the patient-centered characteristics of the Part D program. The Medicare prescription drug benefit is meeting the needs of adults with serious mental illness, but this is largely because of the assistance that beneficiaries receive from community professionals. The Medicare Part D program meets some expectations of a patient-centered program, but there are also definite areas for improvement, such as involvement of patients and information and education for beneficiaries.


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