The 5 percent of Americans with the highest health care costs were responsible for roughly half of all U.S. health care spending in 2009, according to a new report from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. The highest 10 percent of health care spenders incurred 63.6 percent of the total cost, the report also found. On the other end of the spectrum, the 50 percent of Americans with the lowest health care costs accounted for just 3 percent of the total cost of health care in 2009.
The report also found:
- U.S. health care spending reached $8,100 per individual in 2009. Of that, roughly $2,500 went to hospital services and $1,600 went to physicians and independent laboratories. The balance of the spending went to a variety of other sources, including retail prescription drugs, home health agencies and personal medical equipment.
- 15.6 percent of the U.S. population recorded no health care spending at all in 2008.
- People with at least one chronic condition were two to four times more likely to end up in the top 5 percent of health care spending.
- Overall in 2009, U.S. health care spending reached nearly $2.5 trillion, accounting for 17.6 percent of total GDP.