May 30, 2017

How chronic conditions drive up health spending

Source: RAND Corporation; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

We've heard a lot about how a small number of people with serious health problems drive a disproportionate amount of health care spending, but a new report by the RAND Corporation, prepared for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, shows that reality in vivid detail. The big finding: 12 percent of people with five or more chronic conditions account for 41 percent of total health care spending.

Why it matters: The big dilemma in health care right now is how to cover the costs of the sickest people — and if Congress doesn't keep the Affordable Care Act system, which covers all people in the same insurance pools regardless of health, then it has to come up with a better system. This chart shows how the spending is distributed for all patients.

Of note: Six out of 10 U.S. adults have at least one chronic condition.

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Medicare for All's missing mental health discussion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America's mental health care system is in dire need of an overhaul, but the any real specifics are largely missing from the 2020 debate about health care.

Why it matters: Suicide and drug overdose rates continue to rise, and the U.S. faces a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access to treatment.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Many Americans still can't afford medical expenses

Reproduced from Gallup; Note: ±4 percentage point margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

The latest poll from Gallup shows more Americans are putting off medical care because of the cost.

Why it matters: Despite a declining unemployment rate and growing GDP, an increasing number of Americans say they are forgoing often necessary medical procedures because of the cost.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Ex-Kleiner Perkins partner raises $87 million for digital health fund

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lynne Chou O'Keefe, a former partner at Kleiner Perkins, has launched a new venture capital firm called Define Ventures that will focus on early-stage digital health companies. She also raised $87 million for the firm's debut fund.

Why it matters: Digital health is a growing area, with Define to focus on such sub-sectors as telemedicine, clinical research databases, and chronic condition management.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020