Reducing health care costs for dementia patients: Estimating savings from a caregiver support program

Marilyn G. Klug, Kyle Muus, Boris B Volkov, Gwen Wagstrom Halaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Estimating cost savings based on limited health care events within a short time span for a dementia care program. Method: Data on health care utilization of persons with dementia (PWDs) and caregivers were gathered in the Dementia Care Services Program in North Dakota from January 2010 to January 2012. Data were aggregated into 3-month intervals and compared to 3 months before program intervention. Paired and cross-time models were used to estimate cost savings. Results: Health care cost savings for PWDs were estimated at US$143,118 to US$180,102 during the first 3 months after intervention, then decreased over time. Only the first 9 months could be used in the paired model due to small N and low power. Discussion: For programs with short time spans and limited health care events, a cross-time model can be used to estimate cost savings while producing results similar to paired models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1485
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project is supported by funding granted through the North Dakota Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, grant number 190-08687.


  • dementia
  • geriatrics
  • health services
  • rural aging


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