America's landmark health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, celebrate their 50th anniversaries on July 30th. Over the past five decades, the United States healthcare system has experienced dynamic changes, most notably in recent years with improvements in technology, care delivery and health related behaviors. A new study examined key outcomes among the Medicare population over a 15 year period.
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine reviewed the records of nearly 70 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage plans from 1999 to 2013, to better understand long-term trends in mortality, hospitalizations, and healthcare costs.
Results found that among Medicare beneficiaries, death rates have dropped an estimated twenty percent, there have been ten percent fewer hospitalizations, and overall expenditures have decreased from 1999 to 2013. In the last six months of life, total hospitalizations and inpatient costs have also decreased.
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