4 things to know about people with persistently high healthcare spending

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People with consistent employer-based coverage and persistently high healthcare spending for three years averaged $87,870 in healthcare spending in 2017, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

The analysis examined healthcare spending using information from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, which represents millions of workers and dependents. Researchers identified continuously covered employees, meaning those with three consecutive years of employer-based coverage, and then determined the top 5 percent of spenders in each year (2015, 2016 and 2017) as people who have persistently high healthcare spending.

Three other things to know about these persistently high healthcare spenders, based on the analysis:

1. The analysis found that among people with consistent employer-based coverage over three years, persistently high healthcare spenders accounted for 19.5 percent of overall healthcare spending in 2017.

2. People with persistently high spending on average spent about 40 percent more on outpatient services in 2017 compared to people with only high healthcare spending in 2017.

3. Nearly 40 percent of spending for persistently high healthcare spenders in 2017 was spending on retail prescription drugs. 

Read the full analysis here.

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