Geographic Variation in Medicare Spending

Researchers continue to study why Medicare spending per beneficiary varies significantly from one part of the country to another.

Graphic outline of map of USA.

While geographic variation in Medicare spending per beneficiary is itself well documented, the causes of that variation, whether it is appropriate, and what can be done to reduce spending in high-cost areas are less clear.

This brief describes the research on geographic variation in Medicare spending and different interpretations of what it suggests for Medicare payment policy.