Report: 5 Percent of People Account forHalf of U.S. Health Care Spending
Updated: June 27, 2011 | 6:14 p.m.June 27, 2011 | 5:49 p.m.
About 5 percent of the population is responsiblefor almost half of all health care spending in theUnited States and for rising premium rates,according to anew reportfrom the NationalInstitute for Health Care ManagementFoundation.U.S. health care spending has sharply increasedover the past few years. Between 2005 and 2009,national health care spending rose by 23 percentfrom $2 billion to $2.5 billion, according to theNIHCM Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisanorganization focused on health care. A foundationreport that reviewed the 2008 MedicalExpenditure Panel Survey found health carespending was concentrated among a small groupof high-cost patients.The report stated about half of the U.S. populationaccounted for only 3.1 percent of all expenditures.But 10 percent of the population hogged 63.6percent of all health spending, the survey found.The top 5 percent of the population accounted for47.5 percent of all spending, and the top 1 percentaccounted for 20.2 percent. While the average person incurred about $233 incosts in 2008 for health care services, those in the top half of spending cost insurers, thegovernment, or themselves $7,317. The top 1 percent cost $76,476. Adults 55 and over made up a larger proportion of the high-spending group, while those inthe lower spending group tended to be younger. The report also found that people with atleast one chronic health condition were two to four times more likely to have spending in thetop 5 percent group.