Study: Americans With Chronic Diseases Face Care Challenges
U.S. residents with chronic diseases are more likely to forgo medical care because of high costs and experience medical errors than residents of other nations with such conditions, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs, Reuters/Boston Globe reports.
For the study, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, researchers surveyed 7,500 adults, each of whom had at least one of seven chronic diseases: high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and depression. Participants included residents of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the U.S.
Fifty-four percent of U.S. participants said that they did not receive recommended medical care, fill prescriptions or visit a physician at some point because of high costs, compared with 7% of participants in the Netherlands, according to the study.
In addition, 41% of U.S. participants said that they spent more than $1,000 on out-of-pocket medical costs last year, compared with 4% of participants in Britain and 5% of participants in France, the study found.
According to the study, one-third of U.S. participants said that they had experienced a medical or medication error, received incorrect laboratory test results or experienced delays in test results, the highest rate among participants in any nation involved in the research.
Almost half of U.S. residents said that they wasted time because of disorganized care or had received care of limited or no value during the past two years, the study found.
Cathy Schoen, a researcher with the Commonwealth Fund, said, "In short, the U.S. patients are telling us about inefficient, unsafe and often wasteful care," adding, "The lack of access, combined with poorly coordinated care, is putting these patients at very high health risk and driving up costs of care" (Dunham, Reuters/Boston Globe, 11/13).
Broadcast CoverageOn Wednesday, ABC's "World News With Charles Gibson" reported on the study and others that have found similar results (Stone, "World News with Charles Gibson," ABC, 11/12). 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.