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Health Agencies Update
February 22/29, 2012

Health Care Spending Concentrated on a Few

JAMA. 2012;307(8):773. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.177

Just 1% of the population accounted for more than 20% of health care spending in 2008, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The findings (http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st354/stat354.pdf) suggest that health care spending is highly concentrated on a relatively select group of individuals. For example, individuals whose health care expenditures were in the top 10% of spending in both 2008 and 2009 were more likely to be in fair or poor health, elderly, female, and non-Hispanic and to have only public insurance.