Medicare 50th Anniversary

Medicare Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Is More Efficient Than Ever

This week marks the 50th Anniversary of the implementation of Medicare, and Yale School of Medicine has just released a 15-year study showing that Medicare recipients are healthier and living longer than before. This is great news for those enrolled in Medicare Plans in Washington State and across the U.S.

Health Improves for Recipients of Medicare Plans

In their 15-year study, which looked at the experience of 60 million older Americans covered by traditional Medicare between 1999 and 2013, Yale School of Medicine researchers saw an estimated 20% drop in mortality, about 30% fewer hospitalizations, and 40% reduction in deaths after hospitalization.

“We are in the midst of a remarkable era of improvements in health and health care in America,” said lead author Dr. Harlan M. Krumholz, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine, professor of investigative medicine and of public health, and co-director of the Clinical Scholars Program. “This decline represents millions of hospitalizations averted and hundreds of thousands of deaths delayed.”

According to their study, senior citizens on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital; they’re living longer; and the cost of a typical hospital stay has actually come down over the past 15 years. “The results were rather remarkable,” Krumholz said. “We found jaw-dropping improvements in almost every area that we looked at.”

“The news should give us reassurance about our current efforts, but not make us complacent. We should seek to continue our advances in technology, health behaviors and policies, and quality of care — and seek to continue this remarkable trend,” Krumholz added.

The authors state that even though it is difficult to determine the specific reasons for improvement in Medicare recipients’ health, it is clear that there have been notable and impressive reductions in mortality, hospitalization, and adverse hospital outcomes among the Medicare population over the past 15 years.

Medicare Plans Washington

If you are nearing or already 65 and would like more information on Medicare Plans in Washington State, please visit our Overview of Medicare, as well as our guide for those who are New to Medicare.

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