Physician Survey Points to Problems With Cost of Health Care in U.S.
The U.S. health care system continues to be plagued with access and affordability issues despite the fact that the country spends twice as much as other developed countries on health care, according to an international survey of primary care physicians published in the journal Health Affairs, Reuters reports.
The survey of more than 10,000 physicians from 11 countries -- Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S. -- was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund this year from February to July online and by mail and phone. Physicians in each country identified problems in their health systems.
In the U.S., doctors ranked cost and affordability as the most significant challenges. Paying for care was a problem in 5% to 37% of other countries surveyed.
Cathy Schoen of the Commonwealth Fund said that about 58% of U.S. physicians "say their patients often have difficulty paying for medications and other medical care, by far the highest rate in the survey."
Half of the 1,400 U.S. physicians surveyed said that insurance restrictions are a major problem, noting the time that they and their staff spend dealing with insurance companies (Steenhuysen, Reuters, 11/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.