Disability and disabling comorbidity place a disproportionately large burden on the health care system. National Medical Care Utilization and Expenditure Survey data show that medical care expenditures for noninstitutionalized persons amounted to $154 billion ($691 per capita) in 1980. The medical expenditure per capita for people reporting two or more disabling chronic conditions ($2456) was 5 times the amount incurred by those with no limiting conditions ($486) and more than 1.5 times the amount incurred by those with one limiting condition.
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