The Other 1 Percent: The Super Sick
Friday Mar 23, 2012
While the news is full of stories about the “1 percent,” there’s another 1 percent that deserves attention.
American Sentinel University recently published an article about what it calls the other 1 percent, “the super-sick.” These folks account for 22 percent of the country’s health care spending, shelling out about $115,000 a year. With a median household income right under $50,000, that’s a pretty penny.
And it’s not just that 1 percent that are feeling pinched.
“Five percent of the population accounts for 50 percent of total health care costs, or about $50,000 per person,” the American Sentinel said. “This is turning into a basic conundrum of our healthcare system, that resources are allocated so disproportionately.”
Here’s why this is important: looking at these costs, you’ll see the correlation to Medicare and Medicaid use. In 2005, for example, nearly 18 percent of all Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital for treatment of a chronic condition within 30 days, for a cost of $15 billion.
These rising costs are driving the national reform to lower readmissions rates. But for these reforms to be successful, patients will need to adhere to their lifestyle modifications and follow all parts of their treatment plans.
Source: American Sentinel University, February 2012