|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
The Rise In Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: The Role Of Chronic Disease Prevalence And Changes In Treatment Intensity
Thorpe and his coľauthors examine Medicare spending and find that patients with several chronic conditions account for the vast majority of the program's expenditures.
We examine the impact of the rise in treated disease prevalence on the growth in Medicare beneficiaries' health care spending. Virtually all of this spending growth is associated with patients who are under medical management for five or more conditions. This is traced to both a rise in true disease prevalence and changes in clinical treatment thresholds. Using the metabolic syndrome as a case study, we find that the share of patients treated with medications has increased 11.5 percentage points in less than ten years. This raises important questions about the "fit" of how Medicare pays for services for complex medical management.
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