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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:10 PM

High Health Care Costs Bankrupt One In Four American Seniors

High Health Care Costs Bankrupt One In Four American Seniors

By Sy Mukherjee

According to a new study released by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, out-of-pocket medical spending in the last five years of life left one in four American seniors bankrupt.

The study found that average “out-of-pocket expenditures in the 5 years prior to death were $38,688 for individuals, and $51,030 for couples in which one spouse dies.” That average was skewed upwards by staggeringly high out-of-pocket medical spending by seniors who had particularly expensive medical needs. All told, a full “25 percent of subjects’ expenditures exceeded baseline total household assets, and 43 percent of subjects’ spending surpassed their non-housing assets,” according to the report.

The study’s findings underscore the fact that, despite Medicare coverage — which is more efficient and cost-effective compared to private insurance — health care consumption by seniors suffering from costly diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s can often drive up prices to an unsustainable rate.

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But when conservative politicians use that figure to justify radical cuts to social safety net programs, their logic simply doesn’t add up. Shifting ailing patients away from publicly financed insurance programs and into the private market only drives up health care costs and uncompensated care rates by forcing people to pursue treatment that they cannot afford — and those policies would simply force even more seniors to exceed their non-housing assets to pay for their medical costs. The solution to this issue lies in finding more cost-effective treatments for costly diseases, not leaving seniors to their own devices to figure out how to pay for their health care.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/02/01/1526281/health-costs-bankrupt-seniors/


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Reply High Health Care Costs Bankrupt One In Four American Seniors (Original post)
ProSense Feb 2013 OP
ProSense Feb 2013 #1
ProSense Feb 2013 #2
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #3
ProSense Feb 2013 #4
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #5
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #7
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #6
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #8

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:24 PM

1. Kick! n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 02:07 PM

2. No comment?

Would Medicare for all help (cost sharing)?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 03:52 PM

3. of course. but think of the poor insurance companies.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:52 PM

4. It would help to also

improve the quality of care and how it's delivered.

More Doctors, Hospitals Partner to Coordinate Care for People with Medicare

Providers Form 106 New Accountable Care Organizations

Doctors and health care providers have formed 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, ensuring as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries now have access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.

Doctors and health care providers can establish Accountable Care Organizations in order to work together to provide higher-quality care to their patients. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 Accountable Care Organizations have been established. Beneficiaries using ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. Accountable Care Organizations share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs, while meeting standards for quality of care.

“Accountable Care Organizations save money for Medicare and deliver higher-quality care to people with Medicare,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more doctors and hospitals are working together to give people with Medicare the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”

ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care. Federal savings from this initiative could be up to $940 million over four years.

The new ACOs include a diverse cross-section of physician practices across the country. Roughly half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries. Approximately 20 percent of ACOs include community health centers, rural health centers and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities.

The group announced today also includes 15 Advance Payment Model ACOs, physician-based or rural providers who would benefit from greater access to capital to invest in staff, electronic health record systems, or other infrastructure required to improve care coordination. Medicare will recoup advance payments over time through future shared savings. In addition to these ACOs, last year CMS launched the Pioneer ACO program for large provider groups able to take greater financial responsibility for the costs and care of their patients over time. In total, Medicare’s ACO partners will serve more than 4 million beneficiaries nationwide.

Also today HHS issued a new report showing Affordable Care Act provisions are already having a substantial effect on reducing the growth rate of Medicare spending. Growth in Medicare spending per beneficiary hit historic lows during the 2010 to 2012 period, according to the report. Projections by both the Office of the Actuary at CMS and by the Congressional Budget Office estimate that Medicare spending per beneficiary will grow at approximately the rate of growth of the economy for the next decade, breaking a decades-old pattern of spending growth outstripping economic growth.

For more information on the HHS issue brief, “Growth in Medicare Spending per Beneficiary Continues to Hit Historic Lows,” visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/medicarespendinggrowth/ib.cfm

Additional information about the Advance Payment Model is available at http://www.innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/ACO/Advance-Payment/index.html.

The next application period for organizations that wish to participate in the Shared Savings Program beginning in January 2014 is summer 2013. More information about the Shared Savings Program is available at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/index.html?redirect=/sharedsavingsprogram/

For a list of the 106 new ACOs announced today, visit: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/News.html

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/01/20130110a.html


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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:57 PM

5. Obviously not

Medicare is already insolvent, but the problem being addressed here is that seniors with high medical costs are going broke because of what Medicare doesn't cover. Putting more people into the system won't help these people at all, because it will not change their insurance coverage.

It goes to show that Medicare for all isn't the panacea commonly believed.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:02 PM

7. single payer is the only way

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 06:57 PM

6. kick and recommend!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:05 PM

8. By design.

The point is to make sure that the 99% can't pass *any* money on to their children. Any.

Only the 1% can do that. Endgame=just like in Monopoly.

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