As Medicare spending continues to rise, many organizations are examining ways to keep those costs in check and a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Medicare beneficiaries that stay in long-term care facilities account for an excessive portion of Medicare spending and that focusing on prevention can reduce those costs. Of the 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries who were in long-term care for all of 2006, or who died in care before the year’s end, the cost for each person was at an average of $14,538 per person — more than twice the average expenditure for all Medicare beneficiaries that year. Hospital expenses accounted for almost 40 percent of Medicare spending on patients who lived in long-term care facilities.
“When we step back…delivery systems reforms may not only improve quality of care…but may also reduce spending,” said Gretchen Jacobson, a KFF principal policy analyst and co-author of the reports.
Additionally, the reports cite a need for a change of culture in order to reduce hospitalization stays. As part of the findings, the reports showed that many of the hospitalizations of residents of long-term care facilities occurred within the first few months of their stay, when patients are often transitioning from a hospital setting into residential care.
For the reports, visit: “High Medicare Spending for Beneficiaries in Long-Term Care”