Stroke Survivor Care Costs Medicare Beneficiaries $40 Billion Annually

HealthDay News — The cost of caregiving for an elderly stroke survivor is estimated at $11,300 annually, according to a study presented at the 2016 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 17 to 19 in Los Angeles.

Lesli Skolarus, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined whether caregiving differs between stroke survivors and matched controls, and compared the costs of caregiving, using an expanded definition. Data were included for 892 stroke survivors from the 2011 wave of the National Health and Aging Trends Study. A matched sample of non-stroke controls was created by one-to-one propensity matching on demographics and comorbidities. Using reported caregiving data and estimates of informal costs, annual costs of caregiving were calculated.

The researchers found that stroke survivors received about 10 hours/week of additional caregiving, on average, compared with controls (22 vs 12 hours; P < 0.01). For an elderly stroke survivor, the estimated average annual cost for caregiving was about $11,300, which corresponds to a total cost of approximately $40 billion annually among all Medicare beneficiaries.

“Our expanded definition of caregiving suggests that prior studies may underestimate both the time and costs invested in caregiving to older stroke survivors,” the authors write.

For more coverage of ISC 2016, go here.


Skolarus L, Fredman VA, Feng C, Wing JJ, Burke JF. Abstract WP299. An Expanded Definition of Caregiving Among Elderly US Stroke Survivors: Have We Understated the Problem? Presented at: International Stroke Conference; Feb. 16-19, 2016; Los Angeles.