Spending to treat the health problems of Americans 65 and older increased by about $2,000 for every senior who used health services between 1996 and 2006, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Reporting in its News and Numbers publication, the agency said that average spending, adjusted for inflation, for seniors rose from $6,989 in 1996 to $9,080 in 2006. The review covered all Americans 65 and older, except for those living in nursing homes and other institutions.
The agency found significant increases in average spending for seniors for the following types of health care:
* Prescription drug purchase -- from $105 to $174 (66 percent).
* Physician office visit -- from $114 to $180 per visit (58 percent).
* Dental visit -- from $187 to $254 per visit (36 percent).
* Daily hospital stay -- from $2,271 to $2,714 per day (20 percent).