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Long-Term Care Need Associated with Higher Medicare Spending in Older Adults

New research from the Long-Term Quality Alliance, of which n4a is a member, indicates that need for long-term care may have a significant impact on Medicare spending.

The study, which analyzed Medicare fee-for-service claims data linked to data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, found that Medicare spending is three times higher for individuals 65 and older who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) than for those who do not. Average annual Medicare spending for an individual without LTSS needs is $7,127, while average spending for an individual with LTSS needs is $20,248. Spending for individuals with LTSS needs remains significantly higher even when controlling for factors such as dual eligibility and number of chronic conditions.

These findings add to the mounting evidence of the importance of home and community-based supports and services in maintaining the health and well-being of older adults, and emphasize the vital role that community-based organizations play in the health care system. Read the report here.

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