The AARP Public Policy Institute focuses on issues of critical importance as we age. Below we highlight research, analysis, background and commentary on Medicare.
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Where we live is among the most important factors playing a role in our health and well-being. America’s communities, meanwhile, face a number of challenges as they work to foster a Culture of Health. Yet creative solutions are emerging. Meet a group of inspirational leaders, identified as part of an initiative sponsored by AARP, who are disrupting the health landscape in their communities. Read
This fact sheet provides an overview of the SNAP program’s eligibility criteria and provides state-level data on benefits, household composition, and participation for SNAP households with older adults. Read.
This Spotlight describes the use of low-value health care services by private plan enrollees age 50+. Read
The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used prescription drugs increased, on average, between 2006 and 2015. In 2015, retail prices for 768 brand name, generic, and specialty prescription drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries increased by an average of 6.4 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 0.1 percent over the same period. Read
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. Read
Implantable devices, like cardiac pacemakers and artificial hips, are a central part of medical treatment today. As the population has aged and technology has advanced, the range of implantable devices and the number that are being inserted in people have increased dramatically. As a result, AARP’s Public Policy Institute is taking a closer look at issues related to the regulatory oversight and cost of these devices. Read
Prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing public health problem, and older adults are not immune to the growing problem. This Insight on the Issues examines age-related differences in prescription drug misuse, describes various challenges unique to the older population and offers broad recommendations to address those challenges. Read
The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used specialty prescription drugs increased, on average, between 2006 and 2015. In 2015, retail prices for 101 widely used specialty prescription drugs increased by an average of 9.6 percent—the highest average annual increase since at least 2006. Read
This spotlight is based on an analysis of administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. We found substantial racial and ethnic differences in PSA screening and prostate cancer diagnoses between 2009 and 2014. Read
While diabetes affects Americans of all ages, older adults are disproportionately affected. In a recent analysis, we found that 23 percent of Americans ages 65 and older in 2015 reported having been diagnosed with diabetes (Table 1). The stark racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes prevalence among older adults are particularly concerning—about 20 percent of whites reported a diabetes diagnosis, compared to 35 percent of both blacks and Hispanics. Read
The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used brand name prescription drugs increased substantially faster than general inflation between 2006 and 2015, and that the difference between the rate of brand name drug price increases and the rate of general inflation has been widening. Read
How livable is your community?
This spotlight is based on an analysis of insurance claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. We found that surprisingly few women are evaluated or treated for osteoporosis following hip fractures, and these missed opportunities may leave some patients at increased risk for subsequent fractures. Read
How many people are age 85-plus in your state, and how much is this population projected to grow? Find out here: Read
This report outlines the demographics of this growing cohort and concludes with recommendations for coordinating programmatic resources to better serve it. Read
Rates of unplanned hospital readmissions following elective hip and knee replacement procedures fell markedly among the 50- to 84-year-old population between 2009 and 2013. Read
Do Medicare beneficiaries face higher out-of-pocket costs when they remain in observation status rather than being admitted as hospital inpatients? Read
The effect of Angelina Jolie’s personal story of BRCA1 mutation on testing rates among commercially insured women. Read
First in a series looking at innovative projects around the country. This report: The role of nurses in Rhode Island. Read
A national and state-level look at how Americans 50-64 underuse preventive services and face considerable health challenges. Read
How does increasing use of hospital observation services by Medicare beneficiaries impact cost and quality of care? Read