Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More Number Crunching...

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an average person with medical expenses pays 35% of those costs out-of-pocket; the rest is paid by insurance.
More than 40% of those OOP costs, by the way, are for prescription meds. Ouch!
The balance of the OOP is office visits and dental care. Remember, though, YMMV.
And remember the old 80/20 rule? Well, it still holds: the 20% of our fellow citizens with the highest spending account for 80% of medical costs. To put a finer point on it: the 5% of Americans with the highest spending account for about 49% of total health expenditures.
The really BIG numbers come in when we step back and look at the big picture: total U.S. health expenditures will end up around $2.16 trillion this year, and are projected to reach $4 trillion in 2015. That's a lot of Tums.
But wait, there's more!
According to a recent WSJ/Harris poll, support for rewarding providers based on outcomes seems to be fading:

What's striking to me is that, while everyone talks about only wanting the best of care, there seems to be little support for paying for that: only about 20% of those surveyed believe that "it would be fair for patients to pay more to be treated [by providers that] provide better care."
Um, folks, you get what you pay for.
UPDATE: David Williams at the Health Business Blog has more.
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