U.S. spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care

U.S. spends twice as much as other wealthy countries on health care

The investigators found that the United States spends almost twice as much of its wealth on health care - 17.8 percent of its gross domestic product, compared with between 9.6 percent and 12.4 percent in other countries.

The main drivers of higher healthcare spending in the USA are generally high prices-for salaries of physicians and nurses, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and administration.

Inequalities in innovation, costs and outcomes may be reasons the USA lags behind other high-income countries, Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota writes in an accompanying editorial.

High health-care spending in the USA does not translate to better health outcomes, the report found.

It now looks like the United State is paying more for healthcare because it is facing high price tag for drugs, official visits, test, and administration as well.

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

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

The study also updated the reason behind these data.

To find more about the study Woskie with her team worked on the data comparing U.S. healthcare with the 10 leading countries which include, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

But, contrary to popular belief, the researchers did not find that people in the US use the medical system significantly more often than those in other countries - nor did they find that the way Americans use the medical system accounts for the disconnect in spending. For example, in 2016, the USA spent 17.8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare, while other countries ranged from 9.6% (Australia) to 12.4% (Switzerland).

Researchers found life expectancy in the USA was the lowest of 11 countries at 78.8 years old, while people in other wealthy nations are expected to live between 80 and 83.9 years.

But commonly held beliefs for these differences appear at odds with the evidence, the study found.

The U.S. also has more uninsured citizens than any of the countries examined, with about 10 percent of Americans lacking insurance coverage.

The American numbers for physician and nursing workforce and number of hospital beds were similar to the other nations.

Nor does America have too many high-paid specialists. "At least compared to peers, we have a pretty similar mix of primary care to specialists", Woskie said.

Australia spent 9.6% of GDP on healthcare and Switzerland spent 12.4%.

But overall spending is far higher.

Other countries' life expectancy ranged from 80.7-83.9. The U.S. had the shortest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rate of any country included in the analysis, as well as the highest obesity rate. 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.

What does explain higher spending in the U.S.is administrative complexity and high prices across a wide range of healthcare services.

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.

Per capita spending for prescription drugs in other nations ranged from $466 to $939. For several commonly used brand-name pharmaceuticals, the USA had substantially higher prices than other countries, often double the next highest price. Medical procedures were similarly overpriced in the USA, and American medical professionals also make significantly more money than their peers in other countries, according to the paper.

"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".

Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips.

Researchers also pointed out many myths regarding why U.S. health care is so pricey. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America's oldest professional training program in public health.

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