Disability is a dynamic process where functional status may change over time. Examination of the Medicare population suggests that, for those over age 65, disability status will fluctuate in 30% of beneficiaries each year. Less is known about those under age 65. The dynamic nature of disability is of relevance since it has important implications for social policies related to disability.
To: 1) describe the characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries eligible due to disability; and 2) estimate the proportion of individuals with transitions in functional status over a one-year period stratified by baseline characteristics and diagnostic subgroups.
We used the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from 1995 to 2005 to examine transitions in mobility and daily activities among individuals who were eligible for Medicare coverage due to disability.
From the standpoint of function in mobility and daily activities, the working-age Medicare population with disability is fairly stable. While 75%–90% of our...