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Looking at the numbers: Medicare Beneficiaries with Multiple Chronic Conditions

Medicare FFS Beneficiaries with Multiple Chronic Conditions 2017

In a snapshot of Medicare data for multiple chronic conditions for calendar year 2017, Minnesota fares better than the nation. Although the state’s 375,864 fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries have lower rates of multiple chronic conditions than the national average, they carry a significant disease burden.

Chronic conditions in this analysis included diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, prediabetes and diabetes, and mental health.

Nationally, 34 percent of all FFS beneficiaries have at least two chronic conditions compared to 29 percent in Minnesota. With a difference of five percent, Minnesota’s population carries a lower disease burden. For FFS beneficiaries with three or more multiple chronic conditions, the gap narrows to four percent, with 18 percent nationally and 14 percent in Minnesota.

Of all FFS beneficiaries who have two chronic conditions, approximately half of them in both the U.S. and Minnesota have three or more of these health issues to contend with.

FFS beneficiaries 65 and older who have end stage renal disease (ESRD) or a disability status have far higher rates of multiple chronic conditions than their peers.* They are 20 and 16 percent more likely, respectively, to have two or three or more multiple chronic conditions. In Minnesota, they are 11 and 16 percent more likely. Diabetes and hypertension are strongly associated with CKD and ESRD.

Chronic conditions a Medicare priority

With more than a third of Medicare FFS beneficiaries living with two or more chronic conditions, Medicare has made increasing chronic disease management one of its five priority national quality improvement aims.

Interventions focused on prevention and treatment of diabetes and hypertension could have a significant impact on reducing the number of people who have multiple chronic conditions.

*FFS beneficiaries 65 and older excluding people with ESRD or disability status.

Stratis Health conducts analytical work in support of assessing and improving health care quality and patient safety.