facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Spending more on Medicare benefits seen

May 31, 2011 at 2:00 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- Reductions in U.S. Medicare spending in a geographic area or nationally could have harmful effects on beneficiaries' health, researchers say.

Jack Hadley, senior health services researcher at the George Mason University, and Urban Institute colleagues Timothy Waidmann, Stephen Zuckerman and Robert Berenson say greater spending on medical services means better overall health for Medicare participants.

Hadley says previous research showed Medicare spending varied greatly by geographic area, with little benefit to those who live in the higher-price areas. As a result, policymakers have considered limiting Medicare payments in high-cost areas.

The study, published in the journal Health Services Research, found spending more on Medicare medical expenses resulted in greater survival and a better overall health score -- using an index that measures perceived health and activity limitations.

The researchers used data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, which collects extensive information from Medicare participants over a three-year period.

"The surveys provide much richer information about the person's health condition than one can typically get from insurance claims data (used in the earlier research)," Hadley says in a statement.

The older research didn't look at individuals and the amount of medical care, Hadley says.

The statistical analysis indicates the individuals' health did vary with their medical care spending, Hadley says.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
2
India asks Pepsi to cut down on sugar in its soft drinks
3
Child vaccination rates are high, CDC says
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
NIH to test safety of Ebola vaccine candidate
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback