Context: End-of-Life (EOL) care consumes a substantial amount of healthcare resources, especially among older persons with cancer. Having Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) brings additional complexities to these patients’ EOL care. Objectives: To examine the Medicare expenditures at the EOL (last 12 months of life) among beneficiaries having cancer and ADRD vs. those without ADRD. Methods: A retrospective cohort study used 2004–2016 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data. Patient populations were deceased Medicare beneficiaries with cancer (breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate) and continuously enrolled for 12 months before death. Beneficiaries with ADRD were propensity score matched with non-ADRD counterparts. Generalized Estimating Equation Model was deployed to estimate monthly Medicare expenditures. Generalized Linear Models were constructed to assess total EOL expenditures. Results: Eighty six thousand three hundred ninety-six beneficiaries were included (43,198 beneficiaries with ADRD and 43,198 beneficiaries without ADRD). Beneficiaries with ADRD utilized $64,901 at the EOL, which was roughly $407 more than those without ADRD ($64,901 vs. $64,494, P = 0.31). Compared to beneficiaries without ADRD, those with ADRD had 11% higher monthly expenditure and 7% higher in total expenditures. Greater expenditure was incurred on inpatient (5%), skilled nursing facility (SNF) (119%), home health (42%), and hospice (44%) care. Conclusion: Medicare spending at the EOL per beneficiary was not statistically different between cohorts. However, specific types of service (i.e., inpatient, SNF, home health, and hospice) were significantly higher in the ADRD group compared to their non-ADRD counterparts. This study underscored the potential financial burden and informed Medicare about allocation of resources at the EOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-460
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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