The top 1 percent of patients ranked by their healthcare expenses accounted for 22.7 percent of total healthcare expenditures with an annual mean expenditure of $97,956, according to recent data published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Overall, the top 50 percent of the population ranked by their expenditures accounted for 97.3 percent of overall healthcare expenditures, while the lower 50 percent accounted for only 2.7 percent of the total.
The data, comprised of 2012 reports, was published in the recent AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
Other key results include:
*Individuals age 65 and older were characterized by substantially less concentrated levels of healthcare spending relative to their younger counterparts. Alternatively, the elderly had the highest mean levels of healthcare expenditures relative to younger population subgroups at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.
*The top 5 percent of the uninsured population under age 65 ranked by their healthcare expenses accounted for 58.9 percent of the healthcare expenditures incurred by this subpopulation with an annual mean of $14,565. Conditioned on insurance coverage status, the uninsured had the lowest annual mean expenses.
*The top 5 percent of individuals with four or more chronic conditions accounted for 29.7 percent of healthcare expenditures for this subpopulation with an annual mean of $78,198. Based on chronic condition status, persons with four or more chronic conditions had the lowest concentrated levels of healthcare expenditures and higher annual mean expenses at the top quantiles of the expenditure distribution.
The MEPS survey is a nationally representative longitudinal survey that collects detailed information on healthcare utilization and expenditures, health insurance, and health status, as well as a wide variety of social, demographic, and economic characteristics for the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. It is cosponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Center for Health Statistics.
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