Alzheimer’s: In More Ways Than One, the Costliest Disease

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for more U.S. health care spending than any other disease, and that share will skyrocket as the nation’s population ages, experts told members of a Senate health subcommittee on Feb. 26. Research shows that 14.7 percent of Americans 71 and older had dementia in 2010 and that the condition, on average, was associated with $41,685 a year in medical and informal-care costs, said Michael D. Hurd, director of the RAND Center for the Study of Aging. Dementia …

A Way to Hit the Brakes on Health Care Spending?

As Congress and the White House head into the next round of budget-deficit talks, a nonpartisan think tank says it has a better idea for controlling federal spending than cutting Medicare: rein in all health care spending, with the government leading the way. In a new study, the Commonwealth Fund proposes that health care spending not be allowed to grow faster than the overall economy. The approach would have Medicare, Medicaid, other government programs and private insurers encourage providers to …