Dementia care costs $109 billion a year

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 22, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Caring for patients with dementia in the United States costs more than treating cancer and heart disease, according to a study in the April 4 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

An estimated $109 billion was spent on dementia care in 2010, which includes costs for nursing homes, Medicare and out-of-pocket expenses, the study said. That year, $102 billion was spent on direct health care expenses for heart disease, and $77 billion was spent on cancer. Factoring in the cost of informal dementia care, which includes unpaid care provided by family, would boost the national expenditures for the disease to nearly $215 billion.

The annual per-person health care costs associated with dementia are between about $41,000 and $56,000, the study said (link).

Researchers examined data on the cognitive status of 10,903 people 51 and older who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative study of older adults. Dementia care costs were based on participants’ self-reported out-of-pocket spending and the use of nursing home care. Researchers also examined Medicare claims data.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn