"Where your Health Dollars Go" is a map of the US healthcare system and its components. By following the allocation and flow of money in healthcare, the thread of how the organizations, departments, and major players are connected becomes apparent.
The visualization serves two purposes. The first is to provide the public and professionals interested in the healthcare space a way to increase understanding and explore how all the pieces fit together. The second is to give providers, patient advocacy groups, health policymakers, and health economists a visual communication tool to discuss issues at the higher health systems level.
*Tax exclusion $ amount is not added into the $3,500B national health expenditure. Though it is a part of expenditure, it is not included in many data sources and is unclear how it should be best organized without causing contradictions in the expenditure breakdowns.
*$168B in research is a higher $ amount than the category breakdowns within it, as the $ amounts are taken from sources from differing years.
*All $ amounts have been rounded to the nearest billionth for readability and scanning purposes.
The US healthcare system is extremely convoluted. To call it “spaghetti” would be an understatement. Because of the complexity, accurately capturing and following associative and financial relationships is difficult. The wider picture of how organizations are connected, how money flows through the US healthcare system is difficult to see. As a result, public discourse around US healthcare issues and reforms are often too narrow in context. Many consumer services and products developed in the health technology space don’t consider long term, primary, secondary or tertiary, downstream effects they will have on the market or for patients in this wider view.
"Where your Health Dollars Go" provides a detailed high-level view of major components within the US healthcare system and how they interact. The map serves as a communication tool for health professionals, organizations, groups, and policymakers to develop services and policies with the context of the larger picture of how their plans may impact the nation from the government to individual patients. The visualization also provides a canvas for professionals to use, projecting their services and products on the map, to more effectively drive development that aligns with our patient health values.
The current draft of the visualization maps some of the major players. However, there are many parts of the system that have yet to be incorporated, and there may yet be improved ways to represent those relationships than the approach taken here.
Send feedback on this draft to email@example.com, and help us, as well as others, gain a better understanding of the often convoluted, and complex, system that is our healthcare.
Below is a description of the methodology used in creating the "Where your Health Dollars Go" visualization. It is updated based on continuing research and feedback.
The components of the healthcare system to include in the visualization were primarily based on what public data was available. Some expenditures were based on older estimates due to difficulty in finding up to date data (such as administrative costs for private health insurance).
Other expenditures, such as numbers on fraud, waste, and abuse for health insurance programs, are best guesses based on a range of estimates as referenced below.
Column 1, National health expenditure section
Column 2, National health expenditure section
Column 3, National health expenditure section
Column 4, National health expenditure section
Column 5, National health expenditure section
Column 6, National health expenditure section
Column 1, Personal health expenditure section
Column 2, Personal health expenditure section
Column 1, Health and human services expenditure
Column 2, Health and human services expenditure