INTRODUCTION: We estimate the spending attributable to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) to the United States government for the first 5 years post-diagnosis.
METHODS: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study matched to Medicare and Medicaid claims, we identify a retrospective cohort of adults with a claims-based ADRD diagnosis along with matched controls.
RESULTS: The costs attributable to ADRD are $15,632 for traditional Medicare and $8833 for Medicaid per dementia case over the first 5 years after diagnosis. Seventy percent of Medicare costs occur in the first 2 years; Medicaid costs are concentrated among the longer-lived beneficiaries who are more likely to need long-term care and become Medicaid eligible.
DISCUSSION: Because the distribution of the incremental costs varies over time and between insurance programs, when interventions occur and the effect on the disease course will have implications for how much and which program reaps the benefits.