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Research Letter
May 26, 2020

Estimation of the Incident Homebound Population in the US Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries, 2012 to 2018

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Health Law, Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Boston VA Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(7):1022-1025. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1636

In the US, a large and increasing number of people with multiple chronic conditions, cognitive impairment, and functional decline live in the community but are homebound, defined as rarely or never leaving home. In 2011, our research group estimated there were about 2 million people who were completely or mostly homebound in the US.1 By comparison, in 2012, there were about 1.4 million people in nursing homes.2 Furthermore, nearly half of community-dwelling older adults are homebound in the year before death.3 We estimated the incidence of becoming homebound in the US from 2012 to 2018 for Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older.

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