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The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care for Consumers: A Comprehensive Analysis


This study was commissioned research, undertaken on behalf of Deloitte by Oxford Economics in 2010 and draws upon National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) data. NHEA data is published annually and covers a broad range of health-related expenditures, including hospital care, prescription drugs, and physician and clinical services. Of note, the NHEA does not capture, or only partially captures, other health-related spending, such as CAM, nutritional products, and supplements.

In this study, NHEA 2008 data was projected for 2009. Cost areas outside of the NHEA were identified and mapped, and information drawn from a variety of industry-based sources was used to produce estimates of health cost in the identified areas. Information from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) was used to develop estimates by family size and income. The resultant combined dataset represents a broader picture of the health care sector in 2009. This final dataset showed total expenditure by payment source, age group, family income, and family size for each health service area.

Consumer Telephone Survey

In addition, data is reported from a separate study using a consumer telephone survey method. In this, Harris Interactive, via its Harris Poll National Quorum®, conducted a Deloitte-commissioned telephone survey of 1,008 U.S. adults 18+ years old, September 29 -October 4, 2010. Data were weighted, when necessary, to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, number of adults in the household, and the number of phone lines in the household. The survey results have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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