BY SONIA KARAS
Medicare spends more on New Jersey patients than those in any other state, averaging at a whopping $12,000 per person, according to a new study.
The study, undertaken by the National Center for Policy Analysis, said researchers found that New Jersey came in at 15 percent above the national average and they cannot explain such a large difference.
Some of the extra spending was explained by higher salaries, age, income, and higher cost of health care, but that doesn't account for all of it, said Andrew J. Rettenmaier, executive associate director of the NCPA and an author of the study.
There is some speculation about the spending gap between New Jersey and other states. One theory is the access to “robust health care infrastructure,” said Alan C. Monheit, associate director of the Center for Health Economics and Health Policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
This robust health care accounts for patients wanting to have more tests done, see more specialists, and have more high cost procedures.
“The geographic variation in Medicare spending has been a real issue and I think a real mystery for analysts,” Monheit said in a NorthJersey.com article.
New Jersey is still looking to cut Medicare costs, and further research into why New Jersey ranks so high could affect future cuts.