Per Capita Health Care Spending for Seniors Has Increased by Nearly a Third
AHRQ News and Numbers, August 26, 2009
Spending to treat the health problems of Americans age 65 and older increased by about $2,000 for every senior who used health services between 1996 and 2006 (after adjusting for inflation), according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
AHRQ found that average, inflation-adjusted spending for senior health care expenses rose from $6,989 in 1996 to $9,080 in 2006. AHRQ's study covers all Americans age 65 and older with health care expenses other than those residing in nursing homes and other institutions.
The Federal agency also found significant increases in average spending for seniors on the following types of health care during the 10-year period (in 2006 dollars):
- Per prescription drug purchase—from $105 to $174 (66 percent).
- Physician office visit—from $114 to $180 per visit (58 percent).
- Dental visit—from $187 to $254 per visit (36 percent).
- Daily hospital stay—from $2,271 to $2,714 per day (20 percent).
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Trends in Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and Older: 2006 versus 1996.
For more information,or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov (301) 427-1539).