State-level prevalence, health service use, and spending vary widely among Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson disease.

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State-level variations in disease, healthcare utilization, and spending influence healthcare planning at federal and state levels and should be examined to understand national disparities in health outcomes. This descriptive study examined state-level variations in Parkinson disease (PD) prevalence, patient characteristics, Medicare spending, out-of-pocket costs, and health service utilization using data on 27.5 million Medicare beneficiaries in the US in 2014. We found that 45.8% (n = 179,496) of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with PD were women; 26.1% (n = 102,205) were aged 85+. The District of Columbia, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and Florida had the highest age-, race-, and sex-adjusted prevalence of Parkinson disease among Medicare beneficiaries in the US. Women comprised over 48.5% of PD patient populations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. More than 31% of the PD populations in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Rhode Island were aged 85+. PD patients who were "dual-eligible"-receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits-also varied by state, from <10% to >25%. Hospitalizations varied from 304 to 653 stays per 1000 PD patients and accounted for 26.5% of the 7.9 billion United States Dollars (USD) paid by the Medicare program for healthcare services delivered to our sample. A diagnosis of PD was associated with greater healthcare use and spending. This study provides initial evidence of substantial geographic variation in PD patient characteristics, health service use, and spending. Further study is necessary to inform the development of state- and federal-level health policies that are cost-efficient and support desired outcomes for PD patients.






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Mantri, Sneha, Michelle E Fullard, James Beck and Allison W Willis (2019). State-level prevalence, health service use, and spending vary widely among Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson disease. NPJ Parkinson's disease, 5(1). p. 1. 10.1038/s41531-019-0074-8 Retrieved from

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Sneha Arun Mantri

Associate Professor of Neurology

I am a movement disorders specialist with a clinical practice focused on the care of people with Parkinson disease (PWP) and other movement disorders. I am interested in ways to improve the quality of care for patients with chronic neurodegenerative conditions, particularly translating clinically effective treatments and lifestyle modifications (e.g. exercise) into the “real world.”  While a growing body of evidence demonstrates that physical activity, including high-intensity exercise, is feasible for PWP and leads to improved motor and non-motor outcomes, translating that knowledge into practice has been challenging. My research in this area focuses on the impact of patient/doctor communication and social determinants of health on promoting or preventing physical activity among PWP.

 In addition to my clinical training, I hold a Master of Science in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. This unique program, which grew out of the larger field of medical humanities, expands the conceptual framework of clinical medicine to incorporate patient perspective and social experience. I conduct mixed-methods research to design and implement interventions that are actually meaningful to the target population(s). As an example, in my study of Veterans with PD, I was able to conduct qualitative cluster analysis of Veterans’ self-reported barriers and motivators of adherence to exercise recommendations, reporting for the first time the unique barriers faced by this patient population. Additional funded projects using a narrative medicine approach have included (1) exploring the lexicon of burnout among clinical and non-clinical employees; (2) understanding the experience of fatigue and psychosis among PwP and their care-partners; (3) exploring the interactions between border-crossing in literature and border-crossing in medical education/practice.

In particular, narrative medicine offers guideposts toward a revitalized practice of medicine and medical education. In 2020, I was appointed Director of Medical Humanities at Duke, leading a team of clinician scholars in understanding moral injury and structural inequities in medicine. Under this umbrella, I co-direct the interprofessional course Moral Movements in Medicine; teach in the first-year Clinical Skills Immersion, the second-year Cultural Determinants of Health Disparities, and the fourth-year Medical Humanities courses; and mentor third-year students in the Medical Humanities study track.

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