The Concentration of Medical Spending: An Update

Edited by David M. Cutler and Ellen Meara

in Themes in the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780226902845
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903330 | DOI:
The Concentration of Medical Spending: An Update

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This chapter aims to document how trends in spending by age have changed among elderly Medicare beneficiaries in the last decade and to reconcile the decline in disability rates with rapid increases in spending among the elderly. The study reaches two central conclusions. First, it finds that the trend of disproportionate spending growth among the oldest old has continued during the decade between 1985 and 1995. Second, it shows that the reason for the large increase in spending on the oldest elderly in comparison to the younger elderly is the rapid increase in use of postacute services—home health care and skilled nursing care in particular—among the oldest old. A commentary is also included at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: Medicare costs; health care costs; elderly; disability rates; spending growth; postacute services; home health care; skilled nursing care

Chapter.  8296 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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