The Impact of Disability Trends on Medicare Spending


The purpose of this study is to better understand the relationship between disability declines and Medicare costs and what Medicare spending patterns may suggest about the relationship between disability and health. To that end, the study examines actual patterns of Medicare spending and utilization that occurred over the period of declining disability between 1984 and 1999 and how they differ from what might have been expected had disability not changed. Spending is examined in the aggregate, by service, and by type of disability, and implications for the relationship between disability, Medicare spending, and health are discussed. Based on the results, Medicare spending projections are developed under various assumptions about how disability and spending are likely to change over the over the next several years. [60 PDF pages]

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