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Medicare Spending Peaks at Age 96

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses the implications of a Kaiser finding: per capita Medicare spending peaks at age 96, and the main reason is not end-of-life care.

10 FAQs: Medicare’s Role in End-of-Life Care

About eight of 10 of the 2.6 million people who died in the US in 2014 were people on Medicare, making Medicare the largest insurer of health care provided during the last year of life. These Frequently Asked Questions explain Medicare’s role in or coverage of end-of-life care, advance care planning, advance directives, and hospice care. They also provide information on Medicare spending on end-of-life care, changes to the physician fee schedule, and how related issues arose prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Public Strongly Favors End-of-Life Conversations Between Doctors and Patients, With About Eight in 10 Saying Medicare and Other Insurers Should Cover These Visits

Six in 10 Oppose ‘Cadillac Plan Tax’ on High-Cost Health Plans Set to Take Effect in 2018, But Cost Savings Argument Can Change Some Opinions Views on the Affordable Care Act Remain Divided: 45% Unfavorable, 41% Favorable As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan…

New Report on the “Rising Cost of Living Longer” Details Medicare Spending by Age

A new report, The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare, from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes a detailed look at per person Medicare spending by age and by service among the nearly 30 million people covered by traditional Medicare in 2011

What is Medicare’s Role in End-of-Life Care?

Medicare plays an integral role in end-of-life care, an issue that is emotionally-charged and easily politicized.  About three-quarters of the 2.5 million Americans who die each year are ages 65 and older, and covered by Medicare at the time of their death, yet policy issues related to Medicare and end-of-life…

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

Shifting Views on Same-Sex Marriage, Marijuana and End-of-Life Issues

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines three areas of American life where public attitudes have been steadily changing – same sex marriage, marijuana, and end of life issues – and discusses the implications for policy and law.