U.S. Ranks Last Among Peer Nations for Affordable and Accessible Healthcare

According to the latest report, the United States still ranks last for affordable and quality healthcare in comparison to 11 other industrialized nations. The report, led by the Commonwealth Fund, shows that the U.S. failed to move up on the list between 2004 and 2014 — something other countries, who enacted more reforms, were able to do.Why is the U.S. dead last in a race that could literally cost people their lives? Per capita, the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country. At $8,508 per capita spending, it far outranks even Norway, which has the second most costly system at $5,669 per capita. And, based on both outcome indicators and patient perspective, the U.S. also provides the poorest quality of service in comparison to all other surveyed countries.While the 2014 data was collected prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, it’s unlikely, according to the full scope of the study, that the reforms will be enough to significantly boost the U.S.’s ranking. Instead, additional changes will need to be made in order to keep the country on a more even keel with similar industrialized western nations.

The United Kingdom, which spends $3,405 per person when it comes to healthcare, ended up ranking first out of the 11 countries, which included Germany, Canada, Australia, and France, among others. The U.K. was able to make a great gain through their improvements, jumping from third out of five in 2004, to first out of 11 countries. Unlike the U.S., the U.K. gave significant attention to both increasing system resources and putting into place quality-based incentives.

The report concludes that the U.S. “Ranks behind most countries on many measures of health outcomes, quality, and efficiency. U.S. physicians face particular difficulties receiving timely information, coordinating care, and dealing with administrative hassles.” Some of the problems the U.S. encounters includes a difficulty of access to primary care, large numbers of poor people never receiving care, and too few primary care physicians.

“Urgent care centers in particular are making healthcare much more affordable and accessible to large communities, at Doctors Express Newark we try our very best to focus on saving patients money. Time and time again, patients treated by us are treated by board certified doctors with costs that are much less than those patients would see in a hospital setting while still receiving equal or better care.” says a representative from the Doctors Express North Management Team.

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