Noteworthy News

Health Problems, Not Geography, Dictate Medicare Costs According to New Study

Medicare spends more where patients are sicker and not based on where those sick patients live, according to a new study.

This is the case because people in some parts of the country are sicker than people in other parts, necessitating greater expenditures by Medicare.

The new study, published in the journal Medicare Care Research and Review, contradicts previous work by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which has long held that the geographic variation in Medicare spending is based on how medicine is practiced in different parts of the country and not on the clinical challenges posed by Medicare beneficiaries.

Dartmouth researchers have rejected the new study’s findings.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has long questioned the Dartmouth findings and has opposed past proposals to adjust Medicare payments based on geography.

Read more about this latest attempt to determine why Medicare spends more in some parts of the country than in others in this Kaiser Health News report.  Find the new study hereWheelchair, on the Medicare Care Research and Review web site.

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