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Revealed: What's Really Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 25, 2012

By age group, payers and beneficiaries spent the most healthcare dollars on children who were age three and younger and between the ages of 14 to 18 years. Here are some of the study findings for those two age groups:

Children age three and younger:

  • Accounted for 17% of the children studied and 31% of healthcare spending
  • Posted the highest annual per capita spending rate ($3,896)
  • Incurred inpatient services totaling 38% of healthcare spending. For this study the cost of normal deliveries and inpatient perinatal services were evenly divided between mother and baby
  • Incurred outpatient facility services totaling 17% of healthcare spending

Children age 14-18:

  • Accounted for 29% of the children studied and 31% of healthcare spending
  • Posted the second highest annual per capita spending rate ($2,272)
  • Had one of the highest utilization rates of three central nervous system drugs, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Posted a 31% increase in spending on prescription drugs
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