A program at Dartmouth Medical School recently analyzed Medicare data on patients with chronic illnesses. The statistics developed showed that it was much more expensive to die in some parts of the countries than in others. The question that remains is: did the additional hospitalizations, tests, and doctor visits result in better care or better quality of life? The most expensive city is Manhattan, at a cost of $35,838 for the last six months of care; the least expensive is Wichita Falls, Texas at $10,913 for the last six months of care. In Illinois, the average cost for the last six months of care is $17,799.93, which varies throughout the state. About 27% of Medicare’s annual $327 billion budget goes to care for patients in their final year of life.
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