January 12, 2012

One percent of Americans use 22% of healthcare costs

USA Today - Just 1% of Americans accounted for 22% of health care costs in 2009, according to a federal report.

About one in five health care consumers remained in the top 1% of spenders for at least two consecutive years, the report showed. They tended to be white, non-Hispanic women in poor health; the elderly; and users of publicly funded health care.

The report also showed these characteristics of patients in the top 10% of health care spenders in 2008 and 2009:

• Sixty percent were women
• Forty percent were 65 or older.
• Only 3% were ages 18 to 29.
• Eighty percent were white.
• Only 2% were Asian.

The study also found that Hispanics, 16% of the population in 2009, spent less on health care. Twenty-five percent of Hispanics were in the bottom half of health care spenders, the report showed, while only 7% of Hispanics were in the top 10% of spenders.

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