Older Adults Enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid Face Health Disparities

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In a new study published in JAMA, researchers from the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology investigated the differences in health outcomes between low-income older adults who are dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid as compared to more affluent older adults who are solely enrolled in Medicare. The study examined the outcomes of 71 million older adults on Medicare between 2004 and 2017 and also specifically analyzed death and hospitalization rates for the subset of these older adults who were also enrolled in Medicaid due to poverty status. Researchers found that for dually enrolled older adults, annual death rates were more than two-fold higher and hospitalization rates were double that of older adults solely enrolled in Medicare. Researchers found that disparities between these two groups was in many cases worsening over time.

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