Total Expenditures for the Five Most Costly Medical Conditions (1996 vs. 2006)
The chart below shows the total expenditures for each of the 5 mostly costly medical conditions. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ's) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), from which these data are derived, defines “expenditures” as payments made for health care services. It shows the total expenditures for each condition in both 1996 and in 2006 in constant dollars, in order to take inflation into account. In 2006, total direct expenditures for mental health care services totaled $57.5 billion. This places mental health care expenditures as the third most costly medical condition, behind heart conditions and trauma and tied with cancer.