Summary: “Estimates of annual health spending for a comprehensive set of medical conditions are presented for the entire US population and with totals benchmarked to the National Health Expenditure Accounts,” Charles Roehrig writes in Health Affairs. “In 2013 mental disorders topped the list of most costly conditions, with spending at $201 billion. Cost of Health Care Health Economics Health Spending The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA), maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, provide official estimates of annual health spending in the United States. The NHEA covers spending by the entire US population broken out by type of service and source of payment, but not by medical condition. For many years the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced estimates of spending by medical condition from its Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), but they are limited to the civilian noninstitutionalized population and include double counting of spending that involves multiple conditions. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released the Health Care Satellite Account, which promises to be an ongoing source of spending by medical condition, without double counting, for the civilian noninstitutionalized population.2,3 Estimates of health spending by medical condition for the entire US population, without double counting and benchmarked to the NHEA, were first developed in a 2009 study published in Health Affairs that covered the period 1996–2005. This article updates those estimates through 2013, using similar data and methods. The inclusion of institutionalized populations has a significant impact on total spending and brings mental disorders to the top of the list of medical conditions with the highest estimated spending: $201 billion in 2013.” Charles Roehrig,
Mental Disorders Top The List Of The Most Costly Conditions In The United States: $201 Billion, Health Affairs.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.