VOLUME 54 | NUMBER 4 | AUGUST 2019
Medicare expenditures attributable to dementia
Objective: To estimate dementia's incremental cost to the traditional Medicare program.
Data Sources: Health and Retirement Study (HRS) surveylinked Medicare part A and B claims from 1991 to 2012.
Study Design: We compared Medicare expenditures for 60 months following a claimsbased dementia diagnosis to those for a randomly selected, matched comparison group.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods: We used a cost estimator that accounts for differential survival between individuals with and without dementia and decomposes incremental costs into survival and cost intensity components.
Conclusions: Dementia's cost to the traditional Medicare program is significant. Interventions that target early identification of dementia and preventable inpatient and postacute care services could produce substantial savings.
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