The 5% sickest people in our country make up HALF of our costs.
The HALF of us that are the healthiest make up 3.4% of our costs.
And the sickest people aren’t generally people that you see and think “Wow, they look ill.” They’re 10 times sicker. They’re people that spend months—MONTHS—in an ICU. They get admitted for something serious, and then they get a hospital infection. Or they have something else bad happen to them. They’re incredibly, incredibly sick. They’re on 20+ medications. They’re probably at least 50, if not 60, 70, 80, or 90. They probably have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.
So see? When all the Talking Heads talk about “Health Savings Accounts” and being in control of your health care dollars, they’re focusing on a leaking faucet when there’s a Niagara Falls right next door.