According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, end-of-life care in the United States accounts for some 30 percent of Medicare spending. A new study released by the journal Health Affairs looked at 2012 Medicare administrative claims data and identified four unique spending trajectories. Nearly half (48.7 percent) of older Medicare beneficiaries were classified as “high persistent,” maintaining high spending throughout the year, which was associated with having multiple chronic conditions, but not any specific diseases. These findings suggest that spending at the end of life is a marker of general spending patterns often set in motion long before death.
The article can be accessed at http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2016/06/13/hlthaff.2015.1419.full.pdf+html.