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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…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2015

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan to pay physicians for discussing end-of-life treatment options with Medicare patients, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that about 8 in 10 of the public favors Medicare and private insurance covering such discussions and about 9 in 10 say doctors should have these discussions with their patients. However, relatively few (17 percent) say they’ve had such discussions with a doctor or other health care provider, while half of the public says they would want to have such a discussion. Overall, opinion of the health care law has remained divided with similar shares reporting favorable views (41 percent) and unfavorable views (45 percent), with opinion starkly divided by party. The Kaiser Health Policy News Index also finds that the 2016 presidential election is the most widely followed news story included in this month’s Index, placing far ahead of health policy news stories.

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…

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…

Medicare Spending Peaks at Age 96  

In his latest 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. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

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.

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

The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare

This analysis provides a detailed look at per person Medicare spending on the nearly 30 million beneficiaries over age 65 who are enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. Among the key findings of the report is that per person spending rises with age, peaking at age 96. But this rise is not entirely explained by Medicare spending on end of life care, which declines with age. What Medicare spends money on also changes as beneficiaries age. Hospital care is the largest component of Medicare spending throughout the age curve, up to age 100, but there is less spending on physician services and more on home health, skilled nursing and hospice care as beneficiaries age.

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

In his latest 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. All previous columns by Drew…