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Study finds slower growth in per-capita healthcare spending in the senior sector

May 6, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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A report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary found that the elderly posted the lowest growth rate (4.1 percent) in personal healthcare spending than all other age groups (children, working adults, elderly) for the study period 2002–2010.

Personal healthcare costs consist of the medical goods and services used to treat a specific disease or condition. These goods and services include “hospital care, physician and clinical services, retail prescription drugs, and the programs and payers for that care such as private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid,”  according to a CMS news release.

Contributing to the slow growth rate was slower Medicare spending and a decline in spending on long-term care facilities. In the age 65 and over group, while private health insurance spending grew, the growth was slow (3.0 percent annually) as compared with the other groups. In addition, the elderly out-of-pocket spending per person declined during the study period.

Although per-capita spending rates were lower, the report finds that the elderly still spent about three times more per capita than the working adult group and five times more than children in 2010.

The complete report is available in the journal Health Affairs.

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