U.S. Health Care is Last Among Affluent Nations

The health care system in the United States is defective. Various reforms have been proposed to fix the problem, but still to no avail. Under patient’s perspective, many Americans complain on the high cost and low quality care they receive. In fact, according to a study made by a respected research institute, compared to the other ten western industrialized nations, the United States ranked last in terms of overall Quality. This was the same spot it occupied in four preceding ( in the years 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2004) studies conducted by the same group. In addition to the U.S. under performance between 2004 and 2014, it has also maintained a surprising distinction of far more health expenditures ($8, 508 per capita) on health care than Norway ($5,669 per capita), which is the second most expensive system.

US-healthcare

The U.S. is also way behind among wealthy countries on other factors such as health outcomes, accessibility and equity. To find a solution to this, a reform was enacted in 2014. It was later called the Affordable Care Act or also known as the “Obamacare” which aimed to provide health insurance to over 50 million people who did not have it. But, according to the study, the problem is too widespread that it would take more than improving accessibility and equity to completely resolve them.

Major Defects in  U.S. Healthcare

A renowned magazine identified several major problems in Health care. Some mentioned are as follows:

*  Receiving Too Much Needless Care –  For those who do not have health insurance, the major problem is associated with lack of accessibility. But for a large number of Americans who have health insurance, another big problem afloat: They receive too much  unnecessary  care and has to pay for it.

The Institute of Medicine recently estimated that about 30% of total healthcare expenditures in America go toward excessive care, which includes too many referrals to specialists, diagnostic tests, prescriptions and surgeries or treatment. Not only is too much unnecessary care financially burdensome, but also physically debilitating.

* Extravagant Wasting – Because of unnecessary care, billions of federal dollars are being wasted.  Take for instance a costly procedure for heart patients, called stress testing, was estimated to trigger $2 billion of unnecessary spending.

* No Transparency to Health Care Cost – Unfortunately, there is more reasonable amount of transparency (openness of information to the public) to the cost of a car than in most industries, including health care. Lack of transparency also encourages price discrimination and poor competition.

Learning from Others

Due to coordinated efforts and significant reforms, other industrialized countries have improved their health care system. The United Kingdom, for instance, has moved their way over the top beating other wealthy countries. U.K. officials have concentrated in increasing resources in their system by hiring more specialists, giving bonuses to family physicians and adopting health transparency systems that enable physicians to easily share information about patients. And everybody has their doctor.

The United States may be behind, but there is still hope. By moving on from past mistakes and learning from others, America’s Health care may have a big chance of success.

 

References:

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2012/Best-Care-at-Lower-Cost-The-Path-to-Continuously-Learning-Health-Care-in-America.aspx

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/02/21/the-five-biggest-problems-in-health-care-today/

Author: Aaron Jay Lev

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *