What are we measuring?
Average Medicare reimbursements are used here to estimate health care spending per person in Fulton County.  While Medicare reimbursements do not capture spending by everyone receiving health care, it does serve as a useful means of comparing spending between different parts of the U.S.  The data used for this measure come from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which calculates average reimbursements per person for U.S. counties using  Medicare claims from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Average rates of spending are adjusted for regional differences in prices and for the age, sex and race of the underlying Medicare population.
Why are we measuring it?
Spending on health care makes up a significant share of total spending in the U.S.  National Healthcare Expenditures was $3.2 trillion in 2015, or $9,990 per person, and accounted for 17.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Data from the CMS show significant geographic variation in Medicare reimbursements per enrollee.  Even after controlling for age, sex, race, price and health conditions considerable variation remains and mat be explained by differences in the level of health care utilization. These variations have important implications for pricing policy and suggest to some*** that a value-based payment model should replace the uniform national model.

How are we doing?
Although Medicare reimbursements tend to be higher in the southeastern U.S., in 2016 Fulton County ranked well below the national average for all U.S. counties of $9,550 per enrollee. Fulton ranked fourth from the lowest among its national benchmark counties.  

* The data presented on this page was obtained from The Dartmouth Atlas, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Dartmouth Clinical and Translational Science Institute, under award number UL1TR001086 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
** Reimbursement amounts are price, age, sex and race-adjusted.