Health Status Evaluation of Medicare Beneficiaries

Document Type


Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


American Public Health Association (APHA)


San Francisco, CA

Conference Dates

October 27-31, 2012

Date of Presentation



Objectives: Quality-of-Life (QoL) data is not frequently reported from Medicare beneficiaries. Collection of such data can provide another dimension on which beneficiaries are assessed. The present study sought to evaluate beneficiaries' self-reported health status and to examine differences in health status as a function of demographic characteristics. Methods: Community outreach events were conducted from October through December 2011 during which 576 Medicare beneficiaries were provided comprehensive services including medication therapy management. As part of the intervention, beneficiaries were asked to report their current health status and health status change over the previous year. In addition, demographic data, prescription utilization, and self-reported disease states were collected via standardized survey.Results: Approximately 1-in-3 beneficiaries described their current health as either "fair" or "poor". Roughly the same percentage (29.6%) described their current health as either "somewhat worse" or "much worse" when compared to the same time a year ago. The health status of subsidy-recipients was significantly worse than non-subsidy recipients. Higher level of education attained was significantly correlated with better self-reported health status. No significant difference in health status as a function of sex, marital status or age was found. Current health status was negatively correlated with the number of prescription medications taken. Beneficiaries with Parkinson's disease, dementia, or depression had the worst self-reported health of disease states reported. Conclusions: Beneficiaries' health status can vary significantly as a function of specific demographic or clinical characteristics. Quality-of-Life assessment can help facilitate improved beneficiary-provider communications.

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