3 years ago

Medical costs of Alzheimer's disease misdiagnosis among US Medicare beneficiaries

Recent developments in diagnostic technology can support earlier, more accurate diagnosis of non-Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementias. Methods To evaluate potential economic benefits of early rule-out of AD, annual medical resource use and costs for Medicare beneficiaries potentially misdiagnosed with AD prior to their diagnosis of vascular dementia (VD) or Parkinson's disease (PD) were compared with that of similar patients never diagnosed with AD. Results Patients with prior AD diagnosis used substantially more medical services every year until their VD/PD diagnosis, resulting in incremental annual medical costs of approximately $9,500-$14,000. However, following their corrected diagnosis, medical costs converged with those of patients never diagnosed with AD. Discussion The observed correlation between timing of correct diagnosis and subsequent reversal in excess costs is strongly suggestive of the role of misdiagnosis of AD - rather than AD comorbidity - in this patient population. Our findings suggest potential benefits from earlier, accurate diagnosis.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1552526015021263

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