Health Services Research & Development

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Deardorff WJ, Liu PL, Sloane R, Van Houtven C, Pieper CF, Hastings SN, Cohen HJ, Whitson HE. Association of Sensory and Cognitive Impairment With Healthcare Utilization and Cost in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2019 Aug 1; 67(8):1617-1624.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between self-reported vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI), and dual-sensory impairment (DSI), stratified by dementia status, on hospital admissions, hospice use, and healthcare costs. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis. SETTING: Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from 1999 to 2006. PARTICIPANTS: Rotating panel of community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries, aged 65?years and older (N?=?24 009). MEASUREMENTS: VI and HI were ascertained by self-report. Dementia status was determined by self-report or diagnosis codes in claims data. Primary outcomes included any inpatient admission over a 2-year period, hospice use over a 2-year period, annual Medicare fee-for-service costs, and total healthcare costs (which included information from Medicare claims data and other self-reported payments). RESULTS: Self-reported DSI was present in 30.2% (n?=?263/871) of participants with dementia and 17.8% (n?= 4112/23 138) of participants without dementia. In multivariable logistic regression models, HI, VI, or DSI was generally associated with increased odds of hospitalization and hospice use regardless of dementia status. In a generalized linear model adjusted for demographics, annual total healthcare costs were greater for those with DSI and dementia compared to those with DSI without dementia ($28 875 vs $3340, respectively). Presence of any sensory impairment was generally associated with higher healthcare costs. In a model adjusted for demographics, Medicaid status, and chronic medical conditions, DSI compared with no sensory impairment was associated with a small, but statistically significant, difference in total healthcare spending in those without dementia ($1151 vs $1056; P