Surgery News

Health policy research roundup

February 22, 2016

Annals of Internal Medicine: Medicare Spending for Previously Uninsured Adults -- An analysis of claims data of patients ages 65 and 74 as reported in the Health and Retirement Study reveals Medicare spending for adults who were uninsured before becoming eligible for the program exceeds that of people who were previously insured ($5,796 compared to $4,773). "Greater spending for previously uninsured adults was largely explained by hospitalizations for complications related to cardiovascular disease or diabetes and for joint replacements. Thus, extending insurance to uninsured adults may result in substantial health gains for many older working-age adults, and subsequent reductions in Medicare spending after age 65 may partially offset increased spending from expanded coverage before age 65" (McWilliams, Meara, Zaslavsky and Ayanian, 10/5).

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