Medicine

United States Faces Double Healthcare Cost Than Other Wealthy Countries

United States Faces Double Healthcare Cost Than Other Wealthy Countries

According to this study, the salaries of nurses and physicians, pharmaceuticals, faculty administration and the medical devices are the reasons behind the whooping cost of healthcare in the United States.

Using worldwide data primarily from 2013 to 2016, the researchers compared the USA with 10 other high-income countries - the U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland - on approximately 100 metrics that underpin health care spending.

"As the USA continues to struggle with high healthcare spending, it is critical that we make progress on curtailing these costs".

Inequalities in innovation, costs and outcomes may be reasons the US lags behind other high-income countries, Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota writes in an accompanying editorial.

Researchers also pointed out many myths regarding why United States health care is so pricey. The proportion of the US population with health insurance was 90%, lower than all the other countries, which ranged from 99%-100% coverage.

Smoking rates: The United States ranked second lowest of the countries at 11.4%, compared to a mean of all 11 countries of 16.6%.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard University, debunks numerous common beliefs people have about why the United States spend so much money on healthcare.

Evidence: The U.S. has lower rates of physician visits and days spent in the hospital than other nations.

"Although some states and regions throughout the USA serve as excellent laboratories for best practices, these parts of the US system need to be shared with greater equity so that underperforming USA regions can and will demand better care", Parente writes.

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Belief: The U.S. provides too much inpatient hospital care. Health care spending in the United States and other high-income countries.

"There's no doubt that administrative complexity and higher drug prices both matter - as do higher prices for pretty much everything in USA healthcare", said lead study author Irene Papanicolas of the London School of Economics and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. In 2016, the United States spent 17.8% of GDP, compared to 9.6%-12.4% in other countries.

Other causes of unneeded spending are the overuse of expensive health services, low social spending, and the lack of an adequate number of primary health physicians. Its utilization patterns were overall similar to other wealthy countries - leading the researchers to focus on other drivers of difference. The US actually has excellent healthcare for those who have heart attacks or strokes but is below average in avoidable hospitalizations for things like diabetes and asthma.

What does explain higher spending in the U.S.is administrative complexity and high prices across a wide range of health care services.

They found that the main drivers of these prices are higher salaries for physicians and nurse, with U.S. medical doctors making around $218,173 compared with a range of $86,607 to $154,126 in the other countries. Administrative costs of care reflected 8 percent of healthcare spending in the US, while administrative costs ranged from 1 to 3 percent in the other countries. Pharmaceutical spending in the USA was $1,443 per person, compared to a range of $466 to $939 in other countries.

Recent attempts to reform American healthcare have assigned blame for the high cost of care to almost every sector - from drug companies to hospitals to health insurers.

In spite of spending larger money, the life expectancy of the USA was the lowest at 78.8 years as compared to a range of 80.7 to 83.9 years for the other nations. "Global comparisons are very valuable-they allow for reflection on national performance and serve to promote accountability", said first author Irene Papanicolas, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard Chan School.

Professor of global health and senior author of the study, Ashish Jha from the T.H.


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