Each year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases a report known as the National Vital Statistics Reports outlining their research around birth rates, death rates, morbidity, and morality. From this research, the CDC then establishes Life Tables that are used in determining life expectancy for an individual.
This most recent report uses 2019 U.S. data across age, sex, racial, and ethnic groups. The results of their analysis show that the overall life expectancy from birth was 78.8 years. This is an increase of 0.1 years for males and 0.2 years for females. This statistical report provides numerous life tables with a further focus on life expectancy for males and females of Hispanic, Non-Hispanic, Alaskan, Asian, Black, and White population groups.
Which table is CMS Most Interested In?
National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 70 No. 19, Life table for the total population: United States, 2019
This table does not parse out the variables based on sex, race, or ethnicity, but rather calculates the life expectancy for each age group relative to the U.S. population as a whole. Looking at the total population, there is also an increase in life expectancy of 0.1-0.2 years for most age groups within this table.
Here is an example of how this could look:
An individual that is 61 years old:
- According to the prior life table for the total population, the life expectancy would be 23.3 years
- According to this new life table for the total population, the life expectancy is now 23.5
How Does CMS Use this Data in an MSA?
The determined life expectancy is used to allocate how much medical care should be calculated within the MSA. It is also important to note that CMS will either round up or round down to gain a whole number for the life expectancy.
Using the example above, under the prior life table, this life expectancy would have been 23 years. Under this new life table, the life expectancy is now 24 years.
To further illustrate, if the individual needs to follow up with a given physician annually, the under the new life table such care should be allocated 1 time/year for 24 years. Once this has been determined then the cost for this care can be assessed.