Cost of Dementia in Medicare Managed Care: a Systematic Literature Review

Abstract [from journal]

Objectives: We conducted a systematic review of studies reporting the direct healthcare costs of treating older adults with diagnosed Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) within private Medicare managed care plans.

Study Design: A systematic review of all studies published in English reporting original empirical analyses of direct costs for older adults with ADRD in Medicare managed care.

Methods: All papers indexed in PubMed or Web of Science reporting ADRD costs within Medicare managed care plans from 1983 through 2018 were identified and reviewed.

Results: Despite the growth in Medicare managed care enrollment, only 9 papers report the costs of care for individuals with ADRD within these plans, and only 1 study reports data less than 10 years old. This limited literature reports wide ranges for ADRD-attributable costs, with estimates varying from $3738 to $8726 in annual prevalent costs and $8938 to $38,794 in 1-year immediate postdiagnosis incident costs. Reviewed studies also used varied study populations, case and cost ascertainment methods, and analytic methods, making cross-study comparisons difficult.

Conclusions: The expected continued growth in Medicare managed care enrollment, coupled with the large and growing impact of ADRD on America's healthcare delivery and finance systems, requires more research on the cost of ADRD within managed care. This research should use more consistent approaches to identify ADRD prevalence and provide more detail regarding which components of care are included in analyses and how the costs of care are captured and measured.