7 (June 24, 2019): 1–66. The average length of a hospital stay in the U.S. in 2017 was 5.5 days, far lower than the OECD average and comparable to that in Sweden, Switzerland, and France. Government programs like Medicare and Medicaid have increased overall demand for medical services—resulting in higher prices. Search Menu. Efforts to rein in costs, improve affordability and access to needed care, coupled with greater efforts to address risk factors, are required to alleviate the problem. Few Know and That's the Problem, New Marketplace Survey: A Slow Path to Transparency for Patients, Americans' Views of Healthcare Costs, Coverage and Policy. While data collected by the OECD reflect the gold standard in international comparisons, one limitation is that data may mask differences in how countries collect their health data. A relatively higher chronic disease burden and incidence of obesity contribute to the problem, but the U.S. health care system is also not doing its part. Universal healthcare coverage systems are set up to ensure that all legal residents of a given jurisdiction have health insurance. Susan L. Hayes, David C. Radley, and Douglas McCarthy, “States of Despair: A Closer Look at Rising State Death Rates from Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide,” To the Point (blog), Commonwealth Fund, Aug. 9, 2018. Center for Disease Control. Compared to peer nations, the U.S. has among the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths. In 2018, the U.S. spent 16.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. The U.S. rate was comparable to that in New Zealand, Switzerland, and Norway, but higher than in Sweden. Americans had fewer physician visits than peers in most countries, which may be related to a low supply of physicians in the U.S. Americans use some expensive technologies, such as MRIs, and specialized procedures, such as hip replacements, more often than our peers. Despite having the highest level of health care spending, Americans had fewer physician visits than their peers in most countries. What Is a Health Insurance Deductible and How Does It Work? The Wall Street Journal. Latest available data for a fixed period, © Most people know the cost of care is going up, but with few details and complicated hard to decipher invoices, it’s not easy to know what they are paying for. The U.S. also had one of the highest rates of women ages 50 to 69 being screened for breast cancer. The U.S. rate of hypertension-related hospitalizations was more than eightfold higher than the best-performing countries, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Canada. Total pharmaceutical spending refers in most countries to “net” spending, i.e. "About the Fund." "Americans' Views of Healthcare Costs, Coverage and Policy," Page 4. The authors wish to thank Corinne Lewis and Jesse Baumgartner for their careful data check. Hospitalizations for diabetes and hypertension — which are considered ambulatory care–sensitive conditions, meaning they are considered preventable with access to better primary care9 — were approximately 50 percent higher in the U.S. than the OECD average. 14. Germany had an even higher magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) rate, while New Zealand’s was low. Norges Bank. At $4,092 per capita, U.S. private spending is more than five times higher than Canada, the second-highest spender. The size of this gap can be explained largely by the fragmented network of health insurance in the U.S. Few Know and That's the Problem.' New models of health care delivery. Many European countries follow the U.S. in healthcare spending, but the big difference is most of that cost is subsidized by the government while the U.S. relies on costly, private health insurance plans. Eurostat, “Amenable and Preventable Deaths Statistics,” European Commission, last updated June 8, 2017. Americans are paying more out-of-pocket than ever before. 15 (Oct. 7, 2019): 1501–9. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Obesity Update 2017 (OECD Health, May 2017). In the U.S., per-capita spending from private sources, for instance, voluntary spending on private health insurance premiums, including employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, is higher than in any of the countries compared here. The average increase in premium costs in 2018 for people on a private plan or a healthcare exchange was $201. The two most-cited reasons for these increases were government policy and lifestyle changes. This analysis is the latest in a series of Commonwealth Fund cross-national comparisons that uses health data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to assess U.S. health care system spending, outcomes, risk factors and prevention, utilization, and quality, relative to 10 other high-income countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Value for Money in Health Spending. 2. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. In contrast, in Switzerland, France, and Germany, only half of women this age had been screened. Despite the highest spending, Americans experience worse health outcomes than their international peers. This analysis used data from the 2019 release of health statistics compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which tracks and reports on a wide range of health system measures across 36 high-income countries. In 2018, the U.S. spent 16.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. We can start by strengthening access to care and primary care systems. "New Marketplace Survey: A Slow Path to Transparency for Patients." Accessed Sept. 28, 2020. 7. No matter how you parse it, there is no denying that the U.S. spends more on healthcare by a wide margin. Less-frequent physician visits may be related to the low supply of physicians in the U.S. compared with the other countries. 9. Chronic and mental health conditions are responsible for 90% of healthcare costs and sixty percent of all Americans have a chronic illness. , Higher insurance premiums are only part of the picture. 13, 2018): 1024–39. We have poor health outcomes, including low life expectancy and high suicide rates, compared to our peer nations. "Health and Economic Costs of Chronic Diseases." The average U.S. resident paid $1,122 out-of-pocket for health care, which includes expenses like copayments for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs or health insurance deductibles. Kaiser Family Foundation. Organisation for Economic. From Last to First — Could the U.S. Health Care System Become the Best in the World? The above 15 economies represent a whopping 75% of total global GDP, which added up to $85.8 trillion in 2018 according to the World Bank. 10 (Sept. 7, 2017): 901–3; and Eric C. Schneider et al., Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care (Commonwealth Fund, July 2017). The U.S. spends more on health care than any other high-income country but has the lowest life expectancy, The U.S. has the highest suicide rate among wealthy nations. "Chronic Diseases in America." Despite such heavy spending, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years, the lowest in this list. For more comparative health system data from the OECD, click here. current health expenditure) including personal health care (curative care, rehabilitative care, long-term care, ancillary services and medical goods) and collective services (prevention and public health services as well as health administration), but excluding spending on investments. Learn what a health insurance deductible is and how it works. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Health Statistics 2019: Definitions, Sources, and Methods (OECD Health, 2019).