Preventive services for the elderly: Would coverage affect utilization and costs under Medicare?

L. C. Burton, D. M. Steinwachs, P. S. German, S. Shapiro, L. J. Brant, T. M. Richards, R. D. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study was undertaken to determine whether adding a benefit for preventive services to older Medicare beneficiaries would affect utilization end costs under Medicare. Methods. The demonstration used an experimental design, enrolling 4195 older, community-dwelling Medicare recipients. Medicare claims data for the 2 years in which the preventive visits occurred were compared for the intervention (n = 2105) and control (n=2090) groups. Monthly allowable charges for Part A and Part B services and number of hospital discharges end ambulatory visits were compared. Results. There were no significant differences in the charges between the groups owing to the intervention, although total charges were somewhat lower for the intervention group even when the cost of the intervention was included. Charges for both groups rose significantly as would be expected for en aging population. A companion paper describes a modest health benefit. Conclusions. There appears to be a modest health benefit with no negative cost impact. This finding gives en early quantitative basis for the discussion of whether to extend Medicare benefits to include a general preventive visit from a primary care clinician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-391
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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