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Alzheimer’s to cost U.S. $200 billion in 2012

March 8, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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Caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in 2012, according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

This includes $140 billion paid by Medicare and Medicaid, according to “2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.”

Medicare payments for an older person with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are nearly three times higher and Medicaid payments 19 times higher than for seniors without Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the report read.

Nursing home admission by age 80 is expected for 75 percent of people with Alzheimer’s, compared to 4 percent of the general population.

According to the report, average per-person Medicare payments for SNF residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia are higher when treating other conditions, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, stroke, cancer and others, compared to residents with the same conditions but without Alzheimer’s.

An estimated two-thirds of people dying with dementia do so in nursing homes, compared with 20 percent of cancer patients and 28 percent of people dying from all other conditions, the report read.

The report also found that an estimated 800,000 individuals with Alzheimer’s (or one out of seven people with the disease) live alone, often without an identifiable caregiver. On average, people with dementia who live alone in the community tend to be older, female and less cognitively impaired, the report read.

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