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How Much Do We Spend on End-of-Life Care?

It’s not surprising that individuals in their last year of life consume a disproportionate share of medical resources. One percent of the population accounts for 30 percent of the nation’s health care expenditures. Nearly half of those people are elderly.

Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, spends nearly 30 percent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life. Slightly more than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two months.

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