Medicare Spending Growth Varies Widely Around The Country

By Jordan Rau
Kaiser Health News
May 25, 2010

Top 10 Regions – Fastest Growth In Spending:

Medicare spending is growing much faster in some areas of the country than others, including places that once had been reliably low-cost regions. Here are the top ten areas with the greatest annual Medicare spending growth between 2000 through 2007. The national average annual growth rate during this period was 4.7 percent.

Source: Kaiser Health News calculations of Medicare data from 306 hospital referral regions compiled by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

Regional Hospital Markets 

Average Annual Change (2000-7

Total Medicare reimbursements per enrollee (2000)

Total Medicare reimbursements per enrollee (2007)

TX-McAllen

10.3%

$8,017

$15,695

UT-Provo

8.6

$4,616

$8,064

TN-Jackson

8.2

$5,297

$9,118

TX-Waco

8.1

$4,791

$8,056

TX-Harlingen

8.0

$7,958

$13,531

IL-Aurora

7.9

$5,367

$8,993

MO-Cape Girardeau

7.8

$5,079

$8,453

MS-Oxford

7.7

$5,450

$8,951

MI-Muskegon

7.7

$4,946

$8,249

FL-Miami

7.7

$10,404

$17,274


 

Top 10 Regions – Greatest Increase In Services:

Medical practice patterns are changing in many areas of the country, with physicians in some regions providing increasing number of services to Medicare beneficiaries. Such transformations lead to higher expenses for Medicare without always translating to better care for the recipient. This chart shows the 10 geographic regions that saw the greatest increase in the services per beneficiary between 2000 and 2008. The median increase during this period was 13.7 percent.

Source: Government Accountability Office analysis of Medicare data of 306 hospital referral regions. Note: the services per beneficiary figure only covers Medicare beneficiaries that received at least one service in 2008; those that did not visit the doctor or hospital during the year are excluded.

 

Hospital Referral Region Name 

Percent Increased In Services Between 2000-2008 (per beneficiary) 

Number of Services in 2000 (per beneficiary)

 Number of Services in 2008 (per beneficiary)

Munster, Ind.

28.7%

3.61

4.65

Manhattan, NY

28.5%

4

5.13

Elgin, IL

27.6%

3.47

4.42

Covington, KY

27.1%

3.25

4.13

Petoskey, MI

26.9%

3.07

3.89

East Long Island, NY

26.3%

3.84

4.86

Bradenton, FL

25.7%

3.61

4.54

Ormond Beach, FL

25.5%

3.23 

4.06

Royal Oak, MI

25.4%

3.86

4.83

Kettering, OH

25.2%

3.08

3.85

 

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Interactive Map: Medicare Growth Rates, Reimbursements Per Enrollee