Tag Archives: spending

Health spending for elderly shows lowest growth rate among all age groups

Per capita health care costs for people age 65 and older grew by just 4.1 percent for 2002-10, the lowest among any age groups for that period, according to a new report by CMS’s Office of the Actuary. The report, published in the current issue of Health Affairs, examines aggregate and per-capita health spending by gender and major age groups. (Note: AHCJ members get free access to Health Affairs.)

In comparison, spending for children grew at the fastest rate (5.5 percent) and per person spending for individuals aged 19–64 increased 5.2 percent annually.

Estimates of health spending by age and gender consist of all the medical goods and services used to treat or prevent a specific disease or condition in a specific person – including hospital care, physician and clinical services, retail prescription drugs, and the programs and payers for that care, such as private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid. Continue reading

Quick links to cover Ryan’s view of health care spending

Judith Graham, AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, wrote a good post about Paul Ryan’s health policies’ impact on the elderly in Medicaid and Medicare. I thought it would be useful to compile a few quick links, on the health care reform core topic pages, to help you cover the vice presidential candidate and his view of health care spending.

They include links to his budget proposal, some analysis of his proposals, a reading guide about him and a collection of charts on health care entitlements.

Joanne Kenen (@JoanneKenen) is AHCJ’s health reform topic leader. If you have questions or suggestions for future resources, please send them to joanne@healthjournalism.org.

AHRQ details spending on health care

Among recent releases from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, its data on who’s spending what on health care stands out as particularly useful to a broad audience. It has already inspired posts, graphics and stories around the web, and even journalists who don’t plan to use the data directly can get useful context from these secondary pieces.

Thanks are due to AHCJ member Eileen Beal, a Cleveland-based independent journalist, and MedCity News’ Veronica Combs for pointing us to a handy guide to the AHRQ data.

American Medical News’ Doug Trapp uses the AHRQ data to create a profile of America’s heaviest health care consumers. For the record, he reports that they’d most likely be white, female and privately insured.

They are the costliest 1% of patients in the U.S. Caring for them accounts for more than 20% of what the nation spends on all of its health care. In contrast, the least costly half of all patients are associated with only 3% of total health spending, according to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality analysis of spending data from 2008 and 2009 released in January.

Finally, we have the AHRQ statistical brief itself. It’s quite accessible, and reporters will find its references section to be a hyperlinked gold mine of handy numbers and research reports.