U.S. Outspends Other Nations on Health Care, Has Worse Outcomes
Compared with 12 other developed nations, the U.S. spends the most on health care but has worse health outcomes, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report reports (Mozes, HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 10/8).
For the report, the Commonwealth Fund used 2013 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to compare 13 high-income countries. The data compared health care spending, prices, supply and utilization, as well as health outcomes, among:
- New Zealand;
- The United Kingdom; and
- The U.S.
The report used data that predates the Affordable Care Act (Commonwealth Fund report, 10/9).
According to the report, the U.S. spent the most on health care, at $9,086 per person, while Switzerland spent the second-most, at $6,325 per person. The U.S. also spent the greatest share of its gross domestic product on health care, at 17.1%, while France spent the second-most, at 11.6%.
The U.S. had the lowest life expectancy, at 78.8 years, and the highest percentage of people 65 or older with two or more chronic conditions, at 68% (Sullivan, The Hill, 10/8).
Further, the U.S. fared poorly on infant mortality and obesity. U.S. adults used diagnostic services far more frequently than residents of any other country and were the second-largest consumers of prescription drugs.
Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal said in a statement, "Time and again, we see evidence that the amount of money we spend on health care in this country is not gaining us comparable health benefits," adding, "We have to look at the root causes of this disconnect and invest our health care dollars in ways that will allow us to live longer while enjoying better health and greater productivity" (HealthDay/U.S. News & World Report, 10/8).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.