At the risk of stating the obvious this what a recent post on the Healthcare Economist blog discusses. It draws from data forming part of a report by Robert Wood Johnson which tackles the problem of caring for patients suffering from chronic conditions.
Highlighted in this report are the facts that the percentage of individuals in the United States diagnosed with multiple chronic disease is increasing rapidly, 28% of the population suffer from two or more chronic conditions and that two-thirds of Medicare expenditure are for individuals with five or more chronic states.
The chart above evidences the fact that multiple diagnoses of chronic disease account for the lion's share of expenditure. This view is reinforced by the second chart below where one can note that the per capita spend rises exponentially as the number of comorbidities increases.
It would be interesting and also valuable to the administration of our healthcare system if we could get hold of data for the local population and derive a detailed analysis. If the data had to mirror that in the United States it would be both worrying and enlightening and it would allow us to develop strategies to minimise or avoid an impending healthcare crisis.
The original post by Jason Shafrin can be found here: http://healthcare-economist.com/2013/02/07/multiple-chronic-conditions/