AHRQ: Healthcare spending on seniors increases by more than $100 billion in 10 years

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Healthcare spending for seniors rose steadily from 1996 to 2006, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The U.S. spent an estimated $333.3 billion on health care for people 65 and over in 2006. That is $106 billion more than in 1996. Within that 10-year period, healthcare spending for Americans aged 65 and older rose by slightly more than $2,000 per person, from about $6,989 to $9,080.

Dramatic cost increases were found in a number of different areas of spending, according to the report. Prescription drug purchase costs rose by 66% from $105 to $174, while the price of a physician office visit increased by 58% from $114 to $180. The average daily cost of a hospital stay for seniors rose 20% during those years, from $2,271 in 1996 to $2,714 in 2006.

To see the report, go to http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st256/stat256.pdf.