News & Events

  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released an important review of the way the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) and CMS value physician services for Medicare. The report finds significant flaws in the data and processes used, echoing a recent Expert Voices essay by RUC researcher Miriam Laugesen.

  • NIHCM Foundation is now accepting letters of inquiry for the 2015-2016 funding cycle of our investigator-initiated research grant program. We are making a total of up to $250,000 available to be divided among four to five studies in the areas of health care financing, delivery, management and/or policy.

  • Upcoming Webinar on the Future of Telehealth in America

    Telemedicine is booming, fueled by promises of consumer convenience and better access for the underserved. Nearly half of employers will offer telehealth benefits this year. 

  • The federal government invests heavily in physician residency training—to the tune of $15 billion a year. But is this investment producing a physician workforce that meets our modern health care needs? 

  • With another presidential election on the horizon, the perennial debate over reforming federal entitlement programs has already begun to resurface. Policy prescriptions are bound to vary along the political spectrum, but failing to come to agreement and act will threaten our long-term fiscal health.

  • Hospital consolidation has dramatically increased in recent years, and studies have shown that hospital mergers and acquisitions result in rising prices, less competition and an increase in hospital negotiating power. Are health care “goliaths” increasingly dictating the prices and premiums we pay?

NIHCM

The Concentration of Health Care Spending

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July 2012

Spending for health care in the U.S. is highly concentrated among a small subset of Americans. Just 5 percent of the population accounted for nearly half of all health care spending in 2009. Understanding these high-spenders is vital for developing strategies to reduce overall spending growth. In this data brief you will learn more about:

  • the characteristics and health conditions of the highest spenders,
  • the persistence of high spending patterns over time,
  • the challenges in targeting the most expensive cases for better care management, and
  • the implications of concentrated spending for risk-based payment and insurance market reforms.

This is the third in a series of NIHCM data briefs on U.S. health care spending.

Chart images:

Please feel free to use the charts from this brief with attribution to NIHCM Foundation in your slide presentations, blog posts, reports, etc. Click on the images below to download the full-scale .png files.

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