Elderly patients skip care when copays increase, according to study

Elderly patients forgo care when copayments for office visits increase, leading to increased hospital time, according to a new study.

Elderly patients forgo care when copayments for office visits rise, leading to increased hospital time, according to a study released in January in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University studied 899,060 Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in 36 plans from 2001 through 2006.

In plans that increased copayments for office visits, average copayments nearly doubled for both primary care - from $7.38 to $14.38 - and specialty care - $12.66 to $22.05.