Saturday, July 7, 2012

Small Percentage Of Medicare Patients, Often The Young On Disability, Account For Most Of Costs

From The Wall Street Journal "The Crushing Cost of Care: A small percentage of challenging cases, often at the end of life, make up the great bulk of Medicare spending on hospital care. Are we anywhere close to containing the costs?" by Janet Adamy and Tom McGinty:
In 2009, the top 10% of Medicare beneficiaries who received hospital care accounted for 64% of the program's hospital spending, the Journal's analysis found.
Notably, the costliest patients aren't necessarily the oldest, even though Medicare mainly cares for people 65 or older. Of the top 10 costliest people on Medicare in 2009, eight were on disability, including Mr. Crawford. Disability is the main way people under 65 qualify for Medicare.

See my April 22, 2011 post, "Small Percentage Of Medicare Beneficiaries Account For Most Of Its Costs: Maybe Medicare Needs To Be Split Into Two."

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