Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Visualizing Health Care Spending, from The Atlantic.com

Here's a link to a series of charts The Atlantic.com has put together titled "10 Ways to Visualize How Americans Spend Money on Health Care." It's a pretty compelling series of charts, showing how we spend more money than most other developed nations in the world, and get less, and possibly worse, care for it. (I'm talking overall, not individually.)

I would have done a couple of things differently. First, I would have included this chart showing the growth in the cost of health insurance premiums, by state, between 2003 and 2010:




I would also have included this one, because it shows how much we are spending for end-of-life care, and raises questions about how effectively we are providing that care.


Both are from the National Institute for Health Care Management, a not-for-profit that researches health issues and releases research and promotes access to and effectiveness of health care, and the source of most of the charts on The Atlantic.com.

And finally, I would have tried to find out whether the big spenders illustrated in the slide titled "Personal Health Care Spending is Highly Concentrated" were people with high medical costs or medical tourists, people who paid directly for their medical care. My guess, from looking at the slide in context, is that it's the former, but it would be useful to know.

But altogether, it's a very interesting, if disturbing, set of charts.

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