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Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults

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.

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