Several recent studies have found that costs to Medicare are growing due to the rising number of seniors with chronic diseases and the higher-level treatments that are needed to manage those conditions. A study by the American Hospital Association found that 80 percent of Medicare patients had one or more chronic conditions in 2008, and two-thirds had at least two such conditions. The high number of seniors with chronic conditions means Medicare patients are increasingly using expensive healthcare services, particularly those that are administered during inpatient hospital stays. Experts are calling for steps to be taken to reign in the costs associated with these services, including diabetes prevention efforts.
How costly can chronic illness be?
Health care costs rise for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Health policy officials want Medicare to adapt by adopting new services to improve care coordination and prevent illness.
Chronic Conditions Average Medicare spending per capita
As Medicare costs rise due to increased chronic conditions and sicker patients Medicare reimbursements are being decreased. There may come a point that cost exceeds reimbursement – then what?