Why 4% of Patients Consume 25% of Medicare Spending

About 25 percent of the $650 billion of annual spending on Medicare goes for the treatment and care of elderly people in the final year of their lives, according to a new study. Per capita spending is nearly four times higher for those who die than for survivors.

In the long-standing national debate over how far the government should go in stretching limited resources to keep the oldest and sickest people alive, the conventional wisdom has been that the vast majority of beneficiaries making claims on Medicare in the final year of their lives are wizened people in their 80s or 90s confined to nursing home hospital beds.

– The Fiscal Times

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