Looks like Elder seniors are spending more time and money for hospital visits and special care. “While younger Medicare beneficiaries are going to the hospital less frequently, older beneficiaries are spending more on skilled nursing and hospice care, leading to some dramatic changes in how the government insurance program for older adults distributes its payments.
Between 1999 and 2012, the age at which Medicare spending per beneficiary was highest increased from 89 to 97, according to a recent working paper from the Congressional Budget Office.
“More rapid growth in spending on care provided in skilled nursing facilities and hospice care—services that are more widely used by older beneficiaries—than in spending on other Medicare services contributed to the faster growth in spending per beneficiary among the older groups; that growth also accounted for the increase in the age for which Medicare spending per
beneficiary was highest,” the paper’s abstract states.
To calculate their estimates, the researchers looked at Master Beneficiary Summary File information for Medicare fee-for-service claims.
Spending per beneficiary did slow for the 65- to 74-year-old age cohort during the period in question, the researchers determined. They attributed that to a reduction in use of acute inpatient hospital care. In 1999, nearly 50% of Medicare spending for the 65-74 group went toward hospital care; by 2012, that had dropped to about 37%.”
Full article here