Location is one of the largest factors determining what medications are prescribed, particularly to seniors, according to a study released by the Dartmouth Atlas Project.

The differences in prescriptions nationwide mean that some patients miss out on key treatments while others get risky ones, according to the study. More than 1 in 4 Medicare patients filled at least one prescription for medications long deemed high-risk for seniors, including muscle relaxants and anxiety relievers that can cause excessive sedation, falls and other problems in older adults.

Researchers showed that the type and amount of health care patients receive varies widely nationwide, with those who live where Medicare spends more not necessarily receiving quality care. Patients in the South were more likely to fill prescriptions for riskier medications, but less likely than those in other regions to receive long-recommended treatments for heart and bone conditions.

Doctors “really need to ask themselves, ‘Is there a good reason why my patients are getting less effective care than patients in the other regions,'” said Dr. Jeffrey Munson, who believes there would be far less variation if doctors were following guidelines on best medication practices. Read the full article here:

Where seniors live may affect what medication they are prescribed

In a lawsuit, the “standard of care” refers to what is expected of reasonable prudent doctor.  This expectation isn’t limited by geographical location. This article, however, demonstrates that the quality of care is not always consistent across the country. In the end, it is important to always do your research, ask questions, and be an advocate for you and your loved ones.

If you or anyone in your family has suffered serious side effects or damages from a medication error you should seek legal investigation immediately. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.