Friday, November 11, 2011

Sick Americans Have More Trouble Paying

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund shows that sicker, high-cost US patients are much more likely than those in other high-income countries to forgo needed care because of costs, and to struggle with medical debt. The study surveyed patients from the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. In all of those countries, patients with a "medical home"--a primary care practice that knows the patient's history and coordinates care--had fewer medical errors, better coordination of care, and greater satisfaction.

27% of the US patients had serious problems paying medical bills in the last year; the next-highest rate was 14% in the Netherlands. 42% of American patients reported having forgone care, missed doctor visits or left prescriptions unfilled for reasons of cost. This was over twice the rate for every other country except Australia (30%), New Zealand (26%) and Germany (22%).

A nice summary set of charts on the findings is available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment