Medicare Expenditures of Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias or Mild Cognitive Impairment Before and After Diagnosis

Pei Jung Lin, Yue Zhong, Howard M. Fillit, Er Chen, Peter J. Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Objectives: To characterize Medicare expenditure and usage trends in individuals with a coded diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (ADRD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) during the periods leading up to and after diagnosis. Design: Retrospective observational cohort study. Setting: Five percent sample of the 2009 to 2013 Medicare claims files. Participants: Individuals newly diagnosed with ADRD (n = 25,916) or MCI (n = 2,784), each with a propensity-score matched control subject. Measurements: Medicare expenditures and usage during the 24 months before and after a new diagnosis of ADRD or MCI. Results: Medicare expenditures were 42% higher in participants with ADRD ($10,622 vs $15,091, P <.001) and 41% higher in those with MCI ($9,728 vs $13,691, P <.001) during the year before diagnosis than in matched controls. Medicare expenditures of participants with ADRD increased to $27,126 for the first 12 months immediately after diagnosis and decreased to $17,257 during the 12 months after that. For participants with MCI, average Medicare expenditures were $20,386 for the 12 months after diagnosis and $14,286 for the 12 months after that. Use of inpatient care, postacute skilled nursing facility care, and home health care increased substantially after diagnosis of ADRD or MCI. Conclusion: Participants with ADRD and MCI incurred significantly higher Medicare expenditures than matched controls, even before they received a formal diagnosis. Medicare expenditures of individuals with ADRD and MCI may start to increase at least 12 months before their diagnosis, peak during the first few months immediately after diagnosis, and decrease afterward but remain at a higher level than before diagnosis. These findings highlight the importance of early diagnosis and indicate the need for complex case management to coordinate care transitions for individuals with ADRD and MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549-1557
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
  • Medicare
  • diagnosis
  • healthcare expenditures
  • mild cognitive impairment


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