Chronic Conditions Account For Rise In Medicare Spending From 1987 To 2006

Source: Kenneth E. Thorpe, Lydia L. Ogden and Katya Galactionova, Health Affairs, Published online February 18, 2010
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From the abstract:
Medicare beneficiaries’ medical needs, and where beneficiaries undergo treatment, have changed dramatically over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, most spending growth was linked to intensive inpatient (hospital) services, chiefly for heart disease. Recently, much of the growth has been attributable to chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and kidney disease. These conditions are chiefly treated not in hospitals but in outpatient settings and by patients at home with prescription drugs. Health reform must address changed health needs through evidence-based community prevention, care coordination, and support for patient self-management.

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