Study: Dementia Care Costlier Than Heart Disease, Cancer

by Administrator

Total health spending for people with dementia was more than a quarter-million dollars per person during the last five years of life, which is approximately 57 percent greater than costs associated with death from other diseases such as cancer and heart disease, according to a new analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The research estimates that total health care spending was $287,000 for those with probable dementia and $183,000 for other Medicare beneficiaries in the study, which was primarily funded by the National Institute on Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research. The researchers calculated costs from Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, out-of-pocket, and informal care during the last five years of life.

Individuals were divided into four groups: high probability of dementia, cancer or heart disease or another cause of death. While average Medicare expenditures across all four disease categories were similar, the majority of other costs were consistently higher for people with dementia. Medicaid expenditures for people who died with dementia averaged $35,346 vs. $4,552 for those without dementia.


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