Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications


Medicare and medicaid costs for schizophrenia patients by age cohort compared with costs for depression, dementia, and medically ill patients

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Health Policy and Research; Clinical and Population Health Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aged; Chronic Disease; Cohort Studies; Dementia; Depression; Female; Health Care Costs; Health Expenditures; Humans; Male; Medicaid; Medicare; Middle Aged; New Hampshire; Schizophrenia; United States


Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health


OBJECTIVE: The authors describe per-capita Medicaid and Medicare expenditures across age cohorts for individuals with schizophrenia and compare expenditures for patients with schizophrenia and those with depression, dementia, and non-psychiatric medical disorders.

METHODS: Medicaid and Medicare claims were identified for dually-eligible beneficiaries ages 19+ in New Hampshire during 1999 (schizophrenia: N=1,423; depression: N=2,219; dementia: N=1,942; medical disorders alone: N=4,260). Annual per-capita weighted average expenditures were calculated for inpatient, outpatient, home-health, nursing home, pharmacy, physician, and other services.

RESULTS: The greatest per-capita expenditures for individuals with schizophrenia were among older beneficiaries ($39,154 for ages 65-74 and $43,461 for ages 75+), versus younger beneficiaries ($25,633 for ages 19-44 and $31,529 for ages 45-64). Outpatient services were the highest expenditure among younger adults (ages 19-64), whereas nursing home services were the highest expenditure for ages 65+. Total expenditures for individuals with schizophrenia exceeded those for individuals with depression, dementia, or medical disorders across all age cohorts except age 45-64, where dementia expenditures were highest. Among individuals age 65-74, per-capita expenditures for schizophrenia were $11,304 higher than for depression and $28,256 higher than for medical disorders.

CONCLUSION: Schizophrenia is one of the most expensive disorders across the adult lifespan, and expenditures increase across age cohorts. Effective interventions are needed that improve independent functioning in older age, in conjunction with innovative models of home- and community-based services that decrease high use of and expenditures for nursing homes.


Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):648-57.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed