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Health in America

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A Picture of Health in America

As one of the largest segements of the US economy, health care accounts for trillions of dollars in spending, both by governments and private individuals. At Top Masters in Healthcare, we decided to take a closer look at where the money goes in this infographic titled A Picture of Health.

The impact of the healthcare industry on everyday Americans continues to grow, whether they see it in their insurance bill or whether they earn their salaries from the health care industry. The issue also continues to dominate the political conversation... there's no escaping it.

Billing Department

So who does the spending?

21% of healthcare spending is done by private businesses

28% of healthcare spending is done by individual households

16% of healthcare spending is done by state and local governments

29% of healthcare spending is done by the Federal government

Where did the spending go?

37% of healthcare spending went towards hospital care

23.6% of healthcare spending went towards physician and clinical services

5.9% of healthcare spending went towards other residential / health / personal care services

4.9% was spent on dental services

3.3% was spent on home health care

3.2% was spent on "other" professional services

Per capita spending

Between 1960 and 2011, per capita health care spending rose by about 5,400 percent from $147 in 1960 to $8,311 in 2011. If other prices rose like that, here's what it might look like today:

Family Dinner: $176.58

Tube of Toothpaste: $13.50

Volkswagen Beetle: $95,526

Gallon of gas: $13.50

Average income: $287,010

Electric can opener: $479.52

Emergency Department

The top 5 causes of death are heart disease (24.5%) cancer (23.3%) chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.6%) stroke (5.3%) accidents (4.8%) Alzheimer's disease (3.2%).


470,000 is the number of people who have a second or subsequent heart attack

785,000 is the annual estimate of the number of people who have their first heart attack

$444 billion is the cost of heart disease, from health care services to medications to lost job productivity


One in two men will get cancer during their lifetimes

One in three women will get cancer in their lifetimes

$226 billion is the annual cost of cancer, including treatment and lost income

Ongoing Care

Nearly 1 billion annual physician visits per year. If you had a doctor visit every minute of every day, it would take 1,902 years to have that many trips.

One out of 2 adults has a chronic illness

Seven out of every ten deaths are a result of a chronic illness


The heaviest states by obesity rate are Mississippi (34.4%) West Virginia (32.2%) Alabama (32.3%) Tennessee (31.9%) and Louisiana (31.6%)

The lightest states by obesity rate are Hawaii (23.1%) Massachusetts (22.3%) Connecticut (21.8%) District of Columbia (21.7%) and Colorado (19.8%)


Diabetes can lead to a slew of other serious health problems including neverous system diseases, blindness and eye problems, heart disease and stroke, kidney disease and hypertension.

25.8 million people are current affected by diabetes, 8.3% of the population.

35% of people older than 20 have pre-diabetes

$174 billion is the total cost of treating and ealing with diabetes each year

Personnel Department

Healthcare provided 14.3 million jobs in 2008. And that number is only going to grow. In fact, health care is expected to be the single fastest-growing sector of the US economy through 2018.

Ten of the twenty fastest growing occupations are in healthcare related fields.

4.01 million new jobs are expected to be created in the health care industry by 2018. Compare that to 2.67 million in science/engineering, 1.68 million in education, 1.43 million in administration support and waste management and 1.3 million in construction.

Healthcare professionals earned a combined $886 billion in total salaries in 2010

IT Department

As our world becomes more connected by technology, doctors and patients are increasingly using the Internet and data storage.

57% of doctor's offices use electronic medical records.

6 out of 10 adults have looked up health information online.

Pharmacy Department

Almost half of Americans take at least one prescription drug.

$35.22 is the average price of a brand name drug which is almost 4x as much as the generic price.

Spending on prescription drugs has gone from $40.3 billion in 1990 to $259 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow to $457.8 billion by 2019.

The cost to bring a new drug to market is between $55 million and $1 billion

The cost of patented drugs in the United States is 35-55% higher than other industrialized nations

80% of FDA approved drugs have a generic counterpart

Only 23% of doctor visits don't include a prescription