In the News
About 5.5 million older adults are living with dementia, a chronic, progressive disease characterized by severe cognitive decline. This number will likely grow significantly as the U.S. population ages, which has cost implications for the Medicare program. A full accounting of these additional expenses will help policymakers plan for them in their Medicare budgets. This study examined survival and Medicare expenditures in older adults with and without dementia to estimate dementia’s incremental costs to Medicare in the five years after diagnosis. Patients with dementia had significantly
Type: ADRD, Aging, Medicare
This article estimates dementia's incremental cost to the traditional Medicare program. The authors compared Medicare expenditures for 60 months following a claims-based dementia diagnosis to those for a randomly selected, matched comparison group. Dementia's five-year incremental cost to the traditional Medicare program is approximately $15 700 per patient, nearly half of which is incurred in the first year after diagnosis. Increased costs for individuals with dementia were driven by more intensive use of Medicare part A covered services.
Patient Outcomes After Hospital Discharge to Home With Home Health Care vs to a Skilled Nursing Facility
This article examines how patient outcomes and Medicare spending are affected by the decision to discharge patients to home with home health care vs to a skilled nursing facility for postacute care. The authors find that among Medicare beneficiaries eligible for postacute care at home or in a skilled nursing facility, discharge to home with home health care was associated with higher rates of readmission, no detectable differences in mortality or functional outcomes, and lower Medicare payments.
Type: Aging, Post-Acute Care
A Comprehensive Measure of the Costs of Caring For a Parent: Differences According to Functional Status
Providing unpaid care for an older parent has costs that go well beyond a caregiver’s lost wages. A new estimate suggests that the median direct and indirect costs of caregiving are $180,000 over two years, about the same as full-time institutional care. This estimate accounts for lost earnings as well as non-tangible factors, such as lost leisure time and changes to the caregiver’s well-being. It suggests that informal care cost caregivers at least $277 billion in 2011, which is 20 percent higher than estimates that only consider lost wages.
Type: Aging, Labor Market/Retirement, Long-term care, Caregiving, Informal Care