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The measurement and evolution of healthy [sic] inequality : evidence from the U.S. Medicare population

Author: Jonathan Skinner; Weiping Zhou, M.S.; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2004.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), working paper no. 10842.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Has U.S. health care for the elderly become more equitable during the past several decades? When inequality is measured by Medicare expenditures, the answer is yes. During 1987-2001, low income households experienced an increase of 78 percent ($2624) in per capita expenditures, double the increase of 34 percent ($1214) in the highest income group. When inequality is measured by life expectancy, the answer is no.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Statistics
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Skinner, Jonathan.
Measurement and evolution of healthy [sic] inequality.
Cambridge, MA : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2004
(OCoLC)56898663
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Skinner; Weiping Zhou, M.S.; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 894926057
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2011. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (36 pages) : illustrations.
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), working paper no. 10842.
Other Titles: Measurement and evolution of health inequality
Responsibility: Jonathan Skinner, Weiping Zhou.

Abstract:

"Has U.S. health care for the elderly become more equitable during the past several decades? When inequality is measured by Medicare expenditures, the answer is yes. During 1987-2001, low income households experienced an increase of 78 percent ($2624) in per capita expenditures, double the increase of 34 percent ($1214) in the highest income group. When inequality is measured by life expectancy, the answer is no. Survival for the lowest income decile grew by 0.2 years during the 1990s compared to 0.8 years in the highest income group. That the two measures deliver such discordant messages may reflect their intrinsic shortcomings; expenditures depend on preferences, health status, and prices, while outcomes are strongly affected by health behavior and past illness. We suggest a new approach to measuring inequality: the use of quality-based effective care measures. For these measures, efficacy is well proven and nearly all of the relevant population should be receiving it, regardless of health status or preferences. Using Medicare claims data matched to zip code income, we find greater use of mammography screening, diabetic eye exams, and the use of ́́blockers and reperfusion following heart attacks among higher income households, and these differences appear to be stable or growing slowly over time. In sum, the rapid relative growth in health care expenditures among low income elderly people has not translated into relative improvement either in survival or rates of effective care"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.

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