Alzheimer's Misdiagnoses Significantly Increase Medicare Costs
Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 2:42 PM
Recent findings published in the July issue of Alzheimer's and Dementia
found that Medicare beneficiaries who received a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's accumulated between $9,500 and $14,000 in additional medical costs each year until they were correctly diagnosed. Researchers concluded that new diagnostic technologies that give earlier, more accurate diagnosis of non-Alzheimer's related dementias could help patients avoid unnecessary medical procedures and save Medicare money.
Researchers collected data on Medicare enrollment, use of medical resources and associated payments to providers. About 1 in 6 patients studied were incorrectly diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease before receiving a vascular dementia diagnosis. Approximately 1 in 12 patients studied were also incorrectly diagnosed with Alzheimer's before being diagnosed for Parkinson's.
Patients with vascular dementia or Parkinson's who were misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's had between 64% and 221% more skilled nursing facility visits, and between 13% and 56% more home healthcare days. Additionally, misdiagnosed patients also had more inpatient days, more ER visits and more physician visits than their correctly diagnosed counterparts.
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