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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Apr;29(4):718-24. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0474. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Chronic conditions account for rise in Medicare spending from 1987 to 2006.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. kthorpe@sph.emory.edu

Abstract

Medicare beneficiaries' medical needs, and where beneficiaries undergo treatment, have changed dramatically over the past two decades. Twenty years ago, most spending growth was linked to intensive inpatient (hospital) services, chiefly for heart disease. Recently, much of the growth has been attributable to chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and kidney disease. These conditions are chiefly treated not in hospitals but in outpatient settings and by patients at home with prescription drugs. Health reform must address changed health needs through evidence-based community prevention, care coordination, and support for patient self-management.

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PMID:
20167626
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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