Costliest 1 Percent Of Patients Account For 21 Percent Of U.S. Health Spending

In the past few years, efforts to lower costs and improve care have proliferated.
Published Online: October 08, 2013
A 58-year-old Maryland woman breaks her ankle, develops a blood clot and, unable to find a doctor to monitor her blood-thinning drug, winds up in an emergency room 30 times in six months. A 55-year-old Mississippi man with severe hypertension and kidney disease is repeatedly hospitalized for worsening heart and kidney failure; doctors don't know that his utilities have been disconnected, leaving him without air conditioning or a refrigerator in the sweltering summer heat. A 42-year-old morbidly obese woman with severe cardiovascular problems and bipolar disorder spends more than 300 days in a Michigan hospital and nursing home because she can't afford a special bed or arrange services that would enable her to live at home.

These patients are among the 1 percent whose ranks no one wants to join: the costly cohort battling multiple chronic illnesses who consumed 21 percent of the nearly $1.3 trillion Americans spent on health care in 2010, at a cost of nearly $88,000 per person. Five percent of patients accounted for 50 percent of all health-care expenditures. By contrast, the bottom 50 percent of patients accounted for just 2.8 percent of spending that year, according to a recent report by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1fXsEMH

Source: Kaiser Health News

 



Feature
Recommended Articles
This week GOP presidential candidate hopefuls turned their attention to the 2016 election as the next best chance to repeal Obamacare, and CMS released data revealing $6.5 billion payments to healthcare providers from drug and medical device makers in 2014.
Dana Goldman, PhD, suggests that value for breakthrough therapies is most often associated with health benefits, health economics, and outcomes research; however, there are other sources of value that have not been taken into account yet.
The deal combines Humana's 3.2 million Medicare enrollees with Aetna's 1.26 million Medicare enrollees, giving the new combined company a strong position as the baby boomer population ages.
As co-pays and deductibles in Medicare and commercial health plans become more prevalent, so, too, does the temptation to waive them. But beware.
In addition to increasing insurance coverage, the Affordable Care Act also aims to improve population health and lower healthcare costs. However, not much attention has been paid to the quality of care the newly insured are receiving.