Medicare Beneficiaries Satisfied With Health Care Regardless Of Spending

Armen Hareyan's picture

Variationsin regional Medicare spending do not affect beneficiaries' perceptions of thecare they receive, according to a study released Tuesday in the Journalof the American Medical Association, Bloomberg/Tennessean reports. Medicare spending differences -- whichrange from an average of nearly $12,000 a year for a beneficiary in Miami to $5,700 for one in Minneapolis -- are not linked to beneficiarysatisfaction, the study found.

"This is kind of the puzzle of health spending," Jonathan Skinner,co-author of the study and a DartmouthCollege economist,said. Skinner added, "In areas that spend a lot of money and provideintensive care there's no consistent evidence that patients benefit. Nor dopatients in low-cost areas feel deprived" (Bloomberg/Tennessean,5/28).

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