Who’s the 1% in healthcare?

As we all have known, healthcare costs are driven by the minority. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the top 1% account for 22% of healthcare spending in the US or about $90,000 per year. (USA Today article)

So, what are the characteristics of these people:
– White, non-Hispanic
– Female
– In poor health
– Elderly
– Users of publicly funded healthcare

Only about 20% of the high cost consumers stay in that bucket for two straight years…which I think is good. But, I guess you have to look at what percentage die during that period since a lot of costs are concentrated at the end-of-life.

Obviously it’s critical to develop solutions to engage and manage these patients earlier in the process. As data gets better, our predictive algorithms around conditions will improve and we’ll be able to intervene and prevent or delay cost in the system. The key of course is doing that in a way that fully engages the healthcare team and the caregivers.

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