Exploring the High Cost of Health Care in Ontario

A 3-year study using data from almost 15 million Ontario residents under 105 years of age between 2009 and 2011 has resulted in fascinating findings about our health care costs. Compiled by researchers from the University of Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), the study explored patterns in how people used health care services and the costs of health care to the Province of Ontario.

The findings are beautifully illustrated by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) in this infographic, that visually breaks down the high-cost users of health care in Ontario.

high cost of health care users infographic

A summary of key findings as compiled by CMAJ, includes:

  • 1% of Ontarians accounted for 33% of all costs, with $44,906 or more spent per person.
  • 10% of the population accounted for more than 75% of all provincial health care costs.
  • Spending for high-cost users was for hospitalization or long-term care, in contrast with lower-cost users, whose costs were mainly for physician visits as well as prescriptions and laboratory tests.
  • Children accounted for higher costs than adults, with the top 1% accounting for 38% of costs.
  • The top five reasons for hospitalization of children in the top 1% were for low birth weight or prematurity, depression, chemotherapy and acute bronchiolitis.
  • The most common reasons for hospital admissions of high-cost adult users were chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infections, and palliative care.
  • High-cost users continued to use health care services at high levels over time.

We’re hoping to reduce the cost of health care in Ontario by bringing health care back into the home. Interested in trying MediSeen? You can join our team of health care providers or book an appointment today.

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