Study: Aging baby boomers, costs spell disaster

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Several factors threaten to overwhelm the healthcare system and the economy in coming years, says a new study from Tefen USA, a management consulting firm.

The imminent arrival of 70 million baby boomers in hospitals and nursing homes around the country is bound to have severe consequences, the authors said. They cite data that shows that 62% of those aged 50-64 have at least one chronic health condition, and that people over the age of 65 spend, on average, three times as many days in the hospital. Compounding the problem is a decline in hospital capacity, Tefen said.

Skyrocketing healthcare costs are yet another worry. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently estimated that healthcare spending will leap to nearly $4.3 trillion - 20% of the national gross domestic product - by 2017. But that number could be much higher, according to Tefen's assessment.