Medicare Claims for Alzheimer's Patients Explode

The rate of Medicare beneficiaries who were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease rose 250 percent during the 1990s, according to a recent study. This and three other studies suggest that Alzheimer's disease is the public health crisis of the 21st century as diagnosis and awareness of Alzheimer's disease increases.

Experts believe, unless a prevention or cure is found soon, Alzheimer's disease will overwhelm our already stretched health care system and bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid. The numbers are frightening:

  • Medicare expenditures for people with Alzheimer's are almost three times higher than the average for all beneficiaries
  • Medicare costs will rise 55 percent to $50 billion in less than 10 years and Medicaid dollars will soar by 80 percent, to $33 billion
  • The incidence of Alzheimer's disease increased for all groups studied, and particularly among African-Americans
  • As baby boomers enter the age of greatest risk, the number of new cases will increase by nearly 1 million each year

The total number of people with the disease will almost quadruple from an estimated 4.5 million today to as many as 16 million by 2050. Current national direct and indirect costs of caring for individuals with Alzheimer's have reached at least $100 billion, according to estimates.

Since Alzheimer's is such a difficult disease to treat, until there is a confirmed cure for it, your best bet is to take preventive measures against it now! These steps to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's are inexpensive, natural and can be easily implemented by anyone:

EurekAlert July 19, 2004

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