The Platinum Patients

Each year, one in every 20 Americans racks up just as much in medical bills as another 19 combined. This critical five percent of the U.S. population is key to solving the nation's health care spending crisis.

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It’s one of the hardest figures to square in the American health care system: A small slice of patients, just 5 percent, account for over 50 percent of all medical expenditures for the entire United States. In other words, if the country’s population was just 20 people, it would spend the same amount on its sickest resident as it would for the next 19 combined.

The Atlantic used survey data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about this hard-to-describe population. Read the full story here.