The Numbers

Personal Health Score
The two most important things you can do to stay healthy is to (1) eat a nutritious diet and (2) get plenty of exercise. If you’re eating fast food and/or watching too much TV, then chances are you’re not living as healthy as you could. We use fast food and TV consumption as the inverses of healthy lifestyle choices. The higher your health score, the better! The lower your score, the more money you’re likely to spend on health care in the future.
Estimate Lifetime Health Care Costs
CMS provided price transparency data for the 100 most performed Medicare inpatient procedures and the 30 most performed outpatient ambulatory procedures. This data includes the average charge (the amount the hospital charges Medicare) and the average amount Medicare actually reimbursed them. We use the average payment for each procedure (rolled up by your state), adjust for inflation based on the life expectancy in your state and for your gender, and use your Personal Health Score to adjust the total inflated amount. The number that is shown represents a potential amount that you could spend in your lifetime on health care. The number displayed is in inflated dollars.
State Healthscore
RWJF released their obesity report for 2013 entitled “F as in Fat” in which they rank each state for the following: Obesity, Diabetes, Physical Inactivity, Hypertension. We rolled up all of these values to have a single health score per state. The higher the ranking the better! The values are shown to give you some idea of how healthy your state is.
State Life Expectancy
IHME released a report of life expectancy in America by county. In this report, they showed sometimes dramatic differences in life expectancy between men & women, as well as by geographic areas of the country. For HealthBurger we averaged out all of the county life expectancy data by gender. We use this value in helping to calculate inflation.
True Cost of a Hamburger
All of the choices we make have a cost, but sometimes those costs are hidden, obfuscated, or hard to uncover. Making poor dietary choices costs more than the price of the meal; it has a direct impact on your health and your health care costs. HealthBurger attempts to calculate the true cost of a hamburger as a function of your estimated lifetime spending. Each time you eat fast food, you’re buying more than the calories--you’re buying the effects. The values displayed are in today’s dollar amounts.
True Cost per Hour of TV
Like poor nutrition, physical inactivity can have a devastating effect on your health. Your monthly cable or Netflix bill may seem reasonable, but all that time spent sitting is time you could spend moving about. The average American watches over 30 hours of TV per week--that leaves very little time for exercise or other recreational activities. The values displayed are in today’s dollar amounts.
Your Projected Procedures
Your list of projected procedures are calculated by looking at your state’s Medicare enrollment and the number of times each procedure is performed in that state. By combining that with your life expectancy, we’re able to approximate the likelihood that you will have a given procedure in your lifetime. The list is sorted by likelihood.
Each procedure shows the average Medicare payment (in 2011 dollars) and the amount adjusted for inflation in your lifetime.
If you explore the procedure data you’ll find a list of the average, minimum and maximum hospital charges & Medicare payments by state. You can then compare that with national values to get an idea of where your state stands in health care spending.