George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, began his address at the HFMA conference with an attention-grabbing declaration. “It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court does,” he told a jammed room of several thousand attendees, referencing the forthcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act. “We still need to make health care affordable.”

Halvorson detailed the financial challenge facing the industry, laying out multiple statistics on cost drivers. A very small percentage of patients account for a vastly disproportionate share of the cost, he said. “Ten percent of the population drive 80 percent of the cost,” he said, noting that chronic conditions are the biggest factor in the runaway expenses threatening to derail the industry.

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