Studies have shown that socially isolated older adults are at greater risk for poor health and death than their well-connected counterparts. Now a new study—the first to examine whether social isolation also affects health care spending among older adults—finds that a lack of social contacts among older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually. The study’s findings raise issues for Medicare and public health officials.
PPI Solutions Forum
Social Isolation: An Important Health and Public Health Issue and a Significant Cost to Medicare
This event, hosted by the AARP Public Policy Institute, was a discussion of social isolation’s effects on individuals’ health, its impact on Medicare spending, and potential policy solutions to address social isolation and its consequences. In addition, panelists discussed how social isolation became recognized as a major public health concern in the UK and how the issue can be better recognized in the US. Also discussed were current efforts by the AARP Foundation and Medicare Advantage plans to address the issue.
Watch the archived videos below:
Part 1. The Impact of Social Isolation on Medicare spending. Meet the researchers and issue experts who have identified social isolation as the new silent killer. PPI’s new study confirms that Medicare is spending $6.7 billion annually as a result of this public health issue.
Part 2. Solutions to Address Social Isolation. Learn more from experts working to solve the problem of social isolation both in the U.S. and abroad. What we need to do next is develop the evidence base for sound solutions.