U.S. Ranks Last in Study on Healthcare

NEW YORK, June 24 (UPI) — Despite paying almost double for healthcare compared to any other country, the United States ranked last in a study of seven developed nations, a survey says.

The non-profit group, the Commonwealth Fund, used data from the 2007 International Health Policy Survey, conducted by telephone in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States; the 2008 International Health Policy Survey of Sicker Adults and the Commonwealth Fund 2009 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians.

The United States ranked last for access to healthcare — 54 percent of U.S. adults with chronic conditions reported not getting a recommended test, treatment or follow-up care because of cost.

U.S. patients are most likely to report being given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of their medication — a preventable medical error, the study found.

In measuring efficiency, the U.S ranked last due to high administrative costs, lack of use of information technology, re-hospitalization rates of patients and duplicative medical testing. U.S. patients were three times as likely as those in Germany or the Netherlands to visit an emergency department for something a regular doctor could have treated.

For any category, the highest the United States ranked was fourth.

The Netherlands ranked first and has a per capita cost of healthcare of $3,837, the United States ranked last and had a healthcare per capita cost of $7,290.

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