6 Startling U.S. Healthcare Stats: A Visual Review

Do you know what portion of national healthcare spending is wasted? Find out that and more in this visual countdown of surprising facts and figures.

Only about one in 10 Americans have a proficient level of health literacy. 90% of us can't understand and use health-related information in daily activites, and 40% of us can't explain the concept of a deductible.

Even educated and informed consumers can have serious trouble navigating our healthare system. Doctors, nurses, and EMS workers might not be surprised, but for the rest of us, here are six more stats that will make you stop and think.

1. In 2014, National Health Expenditure grew to $3 trillion --- or $9,523 for every man, woman and child --- and accounted for $17.5% of GDP


2. Medicare spending comprises to 14% of the federal budget while Medicaid spending is 9%.


3. Medicare spending per enrollee is highest in New Jersey at $11,903 per year.


4. For Medicare beneficiaries, depending on location and other circumstances, the cost of ambulance services can vary substantially; from $224 to $2,204 per ride.


5. A 2011 study found that 30% (or $765 billion) of the $2.5 trillion spent on domestic healthcare costs was wasted on preventable costs --- including fraud, unnecessary services, bloated administrative costs, and outrageous pricing.


Image credit: National Academy of Sciences

6. On average, America's seniors are paying up to 34 percent more than necessary for prescription drug coverage by choosing plans misaligned with their needs.



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