While the U.S. may be among the leading industrialized nations for healthcare spending, that hasn't translated into better care for insurance customers, a new report indicates.
According to The Commonwealth Fund and its report, "Explaining High Healthcare Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices and Quality," the U.S. spends more on healthcare than 12 other nations, taking up more than 17 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Nevertheless, the U.S. has less to show for it, as health outcomes are no better than average for in-hospital deaths resulting from conditions like heart attack and stroke.
David Squires, the study's lead author, noted that contrary to popular belief, consumers don't get more services for what they pay either.
"It is a common assumption that Americans get more health care services than people in other countries, but in fact we do not go to the doctor or the hospital as often," said Squires. "The higher prices we pay for health care and perhaps our greater use of expensive technology are the more likely explanations for high health spending in the U.S. Unfortunately, we do not seem to get better quality for this higher spending."
Karen Davis, president of the Commonweath Fund, indicated this issue may be ameliorated with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.