U.S. adults more likely to skip medical care

U.S. adults more likely to skip medical care
U.S. adults more likely to skip medical care

HealthDay News -- Compared with 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without healthcare because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, survey results indicate.

"The United States spends more on healthcare than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability and quality," David Blumenthal, MD, president of the Commonwealth Fund, the organization that conducted the survey, said in a statement.

Commonwealth Fund researchers surveyed 20,045 adults from 11 high-income industrialized nationals, including the United States, to examine people's experience with their country's healthcare system, focusing on accessing and affording care.

A majority of U.S. adults, 75%, said that the American health system needs to undergo fundamental changes, the researchers found.

Due to costs 37% of U.S. adults reported going without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions, compared with 4% to 6% of adults in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Spending more than $1,000 or more out of pocket, the highest rate in the survey, was also fairly common among U.S. adults, with 41% indicating they had done so in the previous year.

Overall, healthcare spending was $8,508 per capita in the United States, compared with $5,669 in Norway and $5,643 in Sweden, the next highest spending countries. Insurance administrative costs were also highest in the United States at $606 per person.

References

  1. Schoen C. et al. "Access, Affordability, and Insurance Complexity Are Often Worse in the United States Compared to 10 Other Countries," Health Affairs. Web First, published online Nov. 14, 2013.
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