United States spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care

United States spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care

But he finds that four main areas account for most of the difference in health care costs between the United States and other rich countries: drug prices; the popularity of high-volume, high-margin procedures like knee replacements, angioplasties and C-sections; the widespread use of costly CT scans and MRIs in the USA; and high administrative costs.

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, high utilization of healthcare services and low spending on social services do not appear to play a significant role in higher USA healthcare costs.

At the same time, America often had the worst population health outcomes, and worst overall health coverage.

The U.S.is also spending much more on pharmaceutical costs.

"We know that the U.S.is an outlier in healthcare costs, spending twice as much as peer nations to deliver care".

The study will be published March 13, 2018 in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

These costs are despite similar utilization rates for the US compared to the other nations.

The study also updated the reason behind these data.

Per capita spending on pharmaceuticals was $1,443 in the US, far higher than the range of $466 to $939 in the other countries studied.

The United States spent 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product on health care in 2016, far more than countries such as Australia (9.6 percent), the U.K. (9.7 percent), Canada (10.3 percent) or Switzerland (12.4 percent).

Researchers found that general physicians can expect to make about $218,000 in the USA, compared to a range of $86,600 to $154,000 in other countries. For example, America had the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality when compared to the other countries. Underinvestment in social services didn't appear to explain the difference, either.

The U.S. had a lower percentage of its population covered by health insurance (90 percent) than those other rich countries, where 99.8 percent to 100 percent were covered.

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The American numbers for physician and nursing workforce and number of hospital beds were similar to the other nations. "At least compared to peers, we have a pretty similar mix of primary care to specialists", Woskie added.

The US spends about three times more on healthcare, per capita, than the UK.

Contrary to popular belief, high utilization of healthcare services and low spending on social services are not the main reasons for the costs and lack of efficiency.

Evidence: The U.S. does spend a bit less on social services than other countries but is not an outlier.

Nor is the quality much lower than in other countries.

Evidence: Overall, quality of care in the USA isn't markedly different from that of other countries, and in fact excels in many areas. The US actually has excellent healthcare for those who have heart attacks or strokes but is below average in avoidable hospitalizations for things like diabetes and asthma. "It appears we are spending more for the same stuff", Woskie said.

Administrative costs on health care consume 8 percent of the U.S.'s GDP, compared to a range of 1 percent to 3 percent in other countries. Pharmaceutical spending was $1,443 per person in the United States, compared to a range of $466 to $939 in other countries. For several commonly used brand-name pharmaceuticals, the USA had substantially higher prices than other countries, often double the next highest price.

The US also pays higher salaries for nurses and physicians (on average).

"As the USA continues to struggle with high healthcare spending, it is critical that we make progress on curtailing these costs".

"International comparisons are very valuable".

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere.

Jha said whether the United States moves toward more private healthcare, as advocated by Republicans, or to single-payer healthcare, as advocated by liberal Democrats, price tags on all American health services need to be addressed.

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