Helpful reminder for developers of innovations in the U.S. healthcare system. Where are healthcare costs concentrated? Costs are concenrated in the few who are most complex to treat.
- Five percent of the population accounts for almost half (49 percent) of total health care expenses.
- The 15 most expensive health conditions account for 44 percent of total health care expenses.
- Patients with multiple chronic conditions cost up to seven times as much as patients with only one chronic condition.
- Five most expensive health conditions were heart disease, cancer, trauma, mental disorders, and pulmonary conditions
The elderly (age 65 and over) made up around 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2002, but they consumed 36 percent of total U.S. personal health care expenses. A principal reason why health care spending is spread out more evenly among the elderly is that a much higher proportion of the elderly than the non-elderly have expensive chronic conditions.