Long-term care was a key driver of the total cost in 2013, and remains the bulk of expenses today, Mr. Egge said. Transitions – going from home to nursing home to hospital – are terribly expensive, he noted. And although the Rand report didn’t include it, managing comorbid illnesses in Alzheimer’s is an enormous money drain. “Diabetes is just one example. It costs 80% more to manage diabetes in a patient with AD than in one without AD.”
The Facts and Figures report notes that the average 2017 per-person payout for Medicare beneficiaries was more than three times higher in AD patients than in those without the disease ($48,028 vs. $13,705). These are the kinds of numbers it takes to put partisan bickering on hold and grapple with tough decisions, Mr. Egge said.
“The fiscal argument is one thing that really impressed Congress. They do know how worried Americans are about this disease and how tough it is on families, but the growing fiscal impact has really focused them on addressing it.”