5% of Medicaid "Super-Users" Account for Half of Program's Costs

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Rob Shinkman of Fierce Health Finance reports the Medicaid program costs U.S. taxpayers $460 billion a year. Of that $460 billion, 5% of Medicaid "super-users" account for 48% of the $460 billion. That is an astonishing number. On the flip side, the least expensive 50% only account for 8% of the programs total costs.

Many of these "super-users" have chronic conditions and a majority of those chronic conditions deal with mental illness.  Another large driver of these costs are patients with diabetes. Over the last 10 years new cases of diabetes have skyrocketed. Also, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that rural states accounted for more of this spending then other states. 

Hospitals have increased revenues because 30 states have expanded Medicaid due to the Affordable Care Act and these hospitals have saved millions of their own expenditures. Shinkman points out that "a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that Medicaid spending would increase by another $472 billion over the next nine years if the remaining states were to jump on board."

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