5% of Patients Account for Half of Health Care Spending (USA Today)

Just 1% of Americans accounted for 22% of health care costs in 2009, according to a federal report released Wednesday. That's about $90,000 per person, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Moreover, 5% accounted for 50% of health care costs, about $36,000 each, the report said. The report's findings can be used to predict which consumers are most likely to drive up health care costs and determine the best ways to save money, said Steven Cohen, the report's lead author. And, despite the high numbers, it did include a silver lining: In 1996, 28% of health care costs came from 1% of Americans, so the percentage is dropping.

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