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Medicare Spending Hikes Linked to Chronic Conditions

Posted Feb 22 2010 6:49am
An article in Health Affairs reports that annual increases in Medicare spending are the result of treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension.

The report further says that Medicare spending increases in the past were due to inpatient hospital services, especially for heart disease.

Heart disease ranked first in terms of share of growth from 1987 to 1997. However, from 1997 to 2006, heart disease fell to 10th, while other medical conditions – diabetes being the most prevalent – accounted for a significant portion of the increase.

They suggested that increased spending on diabetes and some other conditions results from rising incidence of these diseases, not increased screening and diagnoses.

The researchers recommend that, as Congress reshapes the U.S. healthcare system, they should address changed health needs through evidence-based preventive care.

But here's the thing. Preventive care is in our grasp. We don't need legislation to mandate it. You can lead a horse to water after all but.... We have become an entitled culture and taking care of ourselves when there is a pill, device or treatment that can do it for us is just not attractive.

There is a lot of blame for why the healthcare system is broken but rest assured WE are a part of that blame.
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