As the U.S. population ages and lives longer, the trajectory of Medicare per capita spending is shifting, according to a study in Health Affairs. The age at which Medicare per capita spending peaked rose from 92 in 2000 to 96 in 2011. The average spending for beneficiaries age 96 in 2011 was $16,145.
The study also looked at Medicare spending trends by service. Inpatient per capita spending peaked at age 89, then declined as spending increased in other services: home health peaked at age 96, skilled nursing peaked at age 98, and hospice peaked at age 104. www.healthaffairs.org