Thursday, June 30, 2011

5% of US Population responsible for 50% Healthcare Spend

In a report from the National Journal: Report: 5 Percent of People Account for Half of U.S. Health Care Spending a small minority of patients generate 50% of the costs of care in the US:

  • ~50%  of the U.S. population accounted for only 3.1 percent of all expenditures
  • 10 percent of the population hogged 63.6 percent of all health spending
  • Top 5  percent of the population accounted for 47.5 percent of all spending, and
  • Top 1 percent accounted for 20.2 percent.

While the average person incurred about $233 in costs in 2008 for health care services, those in the top half of spending cost insurers, the government, or themselves $7,317. The top 1 percent cost $76,476.

Much of the higher costs is linked to older patients with patients over 55 making up the largest proportion of the higher spending group but chronic conditions contribute significantly with people with at least one chronic health condition were two to four times more likely to have spending in the top 5 percent group.

The analysis revealed the high spend group had a much higher incidence of preventable chronic disease including

  • >50% of the high spend group had high blood pressure
  • > 1/3 had high cholesterol
  • >1/4 had diabetes

Focusing on preventative healthcare and targeting preventable disease before it becomes high cost is critical to curbing cost and improving health.

Posted via email from drnic's posterous