On January 1, 2000, Medicare extended the coverage of immunosuppression medications from 3 years to life for elderly and disabled kidney transplant recipients. This research estimates the impact of extending this lifetime coverage to all kidney transplant recipients on Medicare's cash flows. The study finds that extending coverage to all kidney transplant recipients would have increased Medicare's net cash outflows if the coverage were extended for patients of all income levels. There is evidence that extending coverage to only patients in the lowest income quartile could have resulted in a net cost savings to Medicare.
Health Care Financing Review
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Page, T.F., Woodward, R.S. Cost of lifetime immunosuppression coverage for kidney transplant recipients. (2008) Health Care Financing Review, 30 (2), pp. 95-104.