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Notable Numbers

  • 30%: Percent of post-operative patients who have at least one potentially harmful medication discrepancy1
  • $7,200: Average payment for a preventable re-admission in Medicare. 2
  • 70%: increase in the prevalence of diabetes since 1990 3
  • 46.6% decrease in the prevalence of smoking since 1960 4
  • 34%: Increase in the likelihood that an employee of a small firm will quit smoking if a coworker also quits smoking. (67% = increase in likelihood a person will quit smoking if his/her spouse quits smoking) 5
  • 33%: Percentage of diabetics who don't know that they have diabetes 6
  • 22%: Percentage of employees with access to tax advantaged flexible spending accounts who choose to use them. 7
  • 39%: Percentage of employees who don't contribute enough to their 401(k) plan to receive their employer's full offer of a match (free money) 8
  • 52%: Percent of people extremely or very confident that their employer or union will continue to offer health insurance benefits in 2010 (Percent who were similarly confident in 2000: 68%) 9


1) Pharmacist Medication Assessments in a Surgical Preadmission Clinic, Yvonne Kwan et al. Arch Intern Med, 2007;167:1034–1040.

2) Report to Congress: Promoting Greater Efficiency in Medicare, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Published June 2007. Accessed on 12/17/10.

3) Diabetes trends in the US 1990–1998. Diabetes Care 2000: 23(9): 1278-1283.

4) Smoking Prevalence Among U.S. Adults, 1955–2007, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed online on 12/12/10.

5) The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network, Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. N Engl J Med 2008: 358: 2249–2258.

6) One-third Of Adults With Diabetes Still Don't Know They Have It, NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. ScienceDaily. May 26, 2006. Accessed online on December 12, 2010.

7) Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts, Janemarie Mulvey. Congressional Research Service. May 11, 2010. Accessed online on 12/7/10.

8) Workers Not Saving Enough to Get 401(k) Match, Tara Siegel Bernard. The New York Times. October 6, 2010.

9) 2000–2010 Health Confidence Surveys, Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates. Accessed online 12/17/10.

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