Healthcare spending

It’s not unusual to have policies set, even legislation and individual decisions and actions based on surveys, averages and perceptions. Healthcare spending is a good example. The perception of health care spending risk is often wrong. High spending is very concentrated in the population.

Despite the general perception, most Americans don’t spend much on healthcare.

In a given year, a small portion of the population is responsible for a very large percentage of total health spending. We tend to focus on averages when discussing health spending, but individuals’ health status – and thus their need to access and utilize health services – varies over the course of their lifetimes. In fact, very few people have spending around the average.

HealthSystem Tracker

One comment

  1. It’s the Pareto principle at work. I believe I have read that healthcare spending is greatest in the last year of life, so that means we will all run up some big charges eventually. Exceptions would be falling over with a heart attack or getting hit by a bus, things of that sort.


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