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  • One percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 23 percent of overall health care spending, and 5 percent are responsible for a full 50 percent of spending. In stark contrast, the lowest-spending half of the population generates less than 3 percent of total spending—or only about $234 per person, per year.

  • Improving health outcomes for our nation’s children requires coordinated care that promotes recommended health services, prevents unnecessary hospitalizations and bridges across the multiple systems serving children and families.

  • Washington, DC – November 11, 2014 - The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation has awarded four new grants totaling approximately $270,000 to support investigator-initiated health services research.

  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation gives $1M to construct a neonatal abstinence syndrome treatment center. The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council call attention to the surprisingly poor health profile of young adults.

  • Population aging and recent coverage expansions have fueled concerns about physician shortages in primary care, leading several influential groups to recommend that nurse practitioners take on a larger role.

  • Most children’s health system experience is limited to the pediatrician’s office, but those with chronic or complex medical needs often deal with care that is fragmented, duplicative and crisis-driven. This leads to stress on families and wasteful utilization.

NIHCM

The Concentration of Health Care Spending

Download the Brief  Request hard copies  |  Subscribe to NIHCM mailings

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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