A new study by Matthew Davis, Chiang-Hua Chang, Sharon Simonton, and Julie Bynum uses data from 3.5 million people over the age of 67 who died between 2004 and 2017 and focuses on the bills submitted to Medicare by providers in the last two years of the patients’ lives. The researchers find that half of these older adults die with a dementia diagnosis. This rise may have less to do with more adults with the condition than with better public awareness, more detailed medical records and Medicare billing practices.
Matthew A. Davis, Chiang-Hua Chang, Sharon Simonton, Julie P. W. Bynum (2022). Trends in US Medicare Decedents’ Diagnosis of Dementia From 2004 to 2017. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3(4):e220346. 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.0346.