Top 5 Costliest End-of-Life Medicare Services

Costly services such Part B and Part D drugs add to the cost burden of end-of-life services.

The cost for end-of-life care for Medicare beneficiaries has been rapidly increasing as the population grows.

According to a study published by Kaiser Family Foundation, end-of-life care makes up approximately 25% of all Medicare spending on beneficiaries. This large proportion of spending is likely due to chronic conditions, and the utilization of expensive healthcare services at the end of a patient’s life.

Top 5 services that were the highest per capita spending for Medicare beneficiaries in 2014:

1. Inpatient Hospital Visits

These hospital visits accounted for 31% of all Medicare spending on beneficiaries.

2. Physicians/Providers/Suppliers

The 3 services were 21% of Medicare spending in 2014.

3. Part B and D Drugs

Both Part B and D drugs made up 19% of Medicare spending.

4. Outpatient Hospital Visits

Only 15% of spending was attributed to outpatient hospital visits.

5. Post-Acute Care

This category, including skilled nursing facilities and home health services, was 11% of Medicare spending in 2014.