The RAND Corporation conducted a new study that set off a few red flames about the increasing cost of dementia within the U.S. healthcare system. According to RAND, dementia is one of the nation’s most expensive health conditions, charging the U.S. between $157 billion dollars and $215 billion dollars a year in health care and other expenses.
Compared to other common costly illnesses, the immediate healthcare expenses of treating dementia, approximated at $109 billion dollars in 2010, are in line with cardiovascular disease ($102 billion) and considerably greater than cancer ($72 billion). Beyond immediate healthcare expenses, it is approximated that an additional $48 to $106 billion dollars is spent on the unofficial care for dementia, which primarily includes lost wages and care provided by close relatives at home. The estimated growth is also eye opening, both the expenses and the number of individuals with dementia will more than double within 30 years, a rate that overrules many other serious illnesses. These incredible researches clearly strengthen the need for the U.S. to find better solutions for those suffering from dementia.
Medical health insurance rules require a doctor to approve that an individual coming into a hospital is likely to die within six months or less. Physicians are much more likely to do so when the disease is cancer or heart failure. As a result, too many sufferers are declined access to hospice care, which provides modern care (i.e. comfort care) for the dying and support for their family members. Without hospice care, those being affected by dementia may be exposed to several hospitalizations, obtrusive treatments and poor pain /symptom management.
Today, dementia sufferers are blatantly under served as less than 10% of people dying of dementia receive hospice care and often times are registered too late, within a few weeks of death. Relatively, more than 40% of People in America who die each year are in hospice care. The decision to put a loved one into hospice is without doubt one of life’s most difficult choices. But, better prognoses and education about the benefits of hospice may reduce struggling and needless medical costs.