Friday, July 22, 2016

Costs of dying

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently studied "Medicare Spending at the End of Life" for 2014. Here are some of their findings:

  • More than half of Medicare decedents were age 80 or older in 2014.
  • Average total Medicare per capita spending was nearly four times higher for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare who died at some point in 2014 than for those who lived the entire year.
  • Higher Medicare per capita spending among decedents than survivors in traditional Medicare is primarily driven by much higher spending on inpatient hospital services.
  • Medicare per capita spending was higher for decedents under age 65 in 2014 than for those over age 65.
  • Per capita Medicare spending generally declines with age among decedents in traditional Medicare who are over age 65.
  • The decline in Medicare per capita spending by age for decedents over age 65 in 2014 was mainly due to lower inpatient spending.

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