The Latest on Geographic Variation in Medicare Spending: A Demographic Divide Persists But Variation Has Narrowed

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 9 October 2015

Geographic variation in Medicare utilization and spending has been a frequent subject of discussion and analysis among researchers and policymakers for many years. Some researchers have suggested that the differences in Medicare spending across geographic areas resulted mainly from differences in practice patterns, which could be addressed by policy interventions, such as changes in financial incentives for providers. Other researchers have emphasized differences in beneficiaries’ health and socioeconomic status as drivers of geographic variation in Medicare spending, which are less amenable to policy intervention than practice patterns. … Read more.