November 15, 2013

Commonwealth Fund Finds Americans More Likely To Put Off Healthcare Due To Costs.

CBS News (11/14, Jaslow) reports a Commonwealth Fund survey of 20,000 adults in 11 “high-income countries” found that the US led the categories of residents who “went without recommended medical care, did not see a doctor when ill or failed to fill a prescription” due to cost at 37 percent; those having “major problems paying medical bills” at 23 percent; per capita spending at $8,500; and administrative costs at $606 per capita. Second place in those categories went to Sweden (6 percent); France (13 percent); Norway ($5,670); and France ($277). Commonwealth Fund president Dr. David Blumenthal commented that the US spends “more on health care than any other country,” but still “falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and quality.” The countries in the survey were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Dallas Morning News (11/14, Landers) reports the study found, “Americans are frustrated” by “costs, accessibility and complexity.” Indeed, 75 percent said that “fundamental changes” were needed. The News points out that “coverage gaps” in other countries also lead to delayed care so that New Zealand (41 percent) and Australia (28 percent) both have higher rates of adults putting off dental care than does the US (27 percent). Among the countries surveyed, residents of the UK were happiest with 63 percent saying that “it works well or needs only minor changes.”
HealthDay (11/14, Preidt) reports that US residents also complain more about “hassles over health insurance disputes and paperwork,” with 32 percent saying that they spent “a lot of time dealing with insurance paperwork and disputes, or their insurer had denied a claim and/or paid less than anticipated.” One-quarter of Swiss reported similar experiences as did 19 percent of those in the Netherlands and 17 percent of Germans.
Medscape (11/14, Brooks) reports the survey was published online (11/14) today at Health Affairs.

Source article: Bulletin Healthcare