(MARKETWATCH) – Million-dollar health care is on the rise – and expensive drugs are playing an important role.
The number of patients whose medical care cost at least a million dollars over the course of a year rose by nearly 90 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to a new report conducted by Sun Life. (Because the report was about Sun Life clients, it focuses on the highest-cost medical bills of individuals with health insurance through their jobs, often at large companies.)
Expensive injectable drugs, especially for rare diseases, are one factor that's fueling the rise, according to the report.
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In 2016, for example, total treatment costs for a patient with a severe swelling disorder were $6.7 million, the highest in a single year, according to Sun Life. Last year, total medical costs for an individual with a blood disorder came to $5 million.