Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Medicare v. Hospice

High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries
May 2005

Good CBO work showing the Concentration spread of Benefits going to enrolled beneficiaries. Important elements:

About 14 percent of beneficiaries with high Medicare
expenses in a given year die during that year (see
Figure 2). Within four years, that fraction accumulates to
40 percent.

Studies show that about
one-quarter of total Medicare payments are for the typically
expensive and intensive treatment received in a patient’s
last year of life, which often postpones death for
only a short time

The CBO are past Masters at not making a recommendation--lots of Practice! The Study actually says some percentage of Medicare Costs could be eliminated by identifying what are basically 'Lost Cause' Patients, and switching them to Hospice Care. This Author could not agree more, but is tired of People mumbling about it with a hand over their mouth. Such a switch upon Patients reaching a designated Age is medically beneficial to most Patients, as they do not have to undergone barbaric Saving medical practices where wear down both Patient and Staff. It could also probably cut Medicare Costs by 20% in any given Year, and a probable nearer 40% over a projected Retirement Age-to Death usage. lgl

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