Rising Cost of Healthcare Around the World

Recently the Commonwealth Fund study compared 13 countries with the U.S., Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The Commonwealth Fund study found that in 2009 $8,000 per person was spent. When looking at other countries compared to the U.S.,  our health care spend is enormous. In the study, Norway and Switzerland were second and third, on medical spending, at around $5,000 per person.

The U.S. high cost health care isn’t because of more doctor visits, with U.S. visits in 2009 averaging around 4 per year, the U.S actually ranked near the bottom for the number of doctor visits. It isn’t due to longer hospital stints or treatments, the U.S. actually had shorter hospital stays and less hospital beds and discharge, the Commonwealth Fund study found.

People assume that the U.S gets more healthcare services, that just isn’t the case. The U.S. population doesn’t go to the doctor or hospital often. The United States spends more on health care than 12 other industrialized countries. Does this make our healthcare better? No, it was mentioned in the Commonwealth Fund study, the high healthcare spend doesn’t actually correlate to better care in the U.S.

Lets get to the root of these problems: A least a third of the American population is obese, this drives up health spending, a good deal of use of expensive technology, such as CT scanes and MRIs, as well as the costs of medication and medical services being high, the The Commonwealth Fund mentioned.

The U.S. fared poorly from asthma and amputations due to diabetes causing higher then normal death rates. Though the U.S. fared well having had the highest survival rate among the countries for colorectal and breast cancer.

In the study the lowest medical spending of the 13 countries was Japan, they use strong price regulation to manage costs, keeping them down down. Heath spending in Japan increased by 2 percentage points in two decades! Within the U.S. it rose by 8 percentage points within the same time period.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is where the Commonwealth Fund study drew its findings from.

The drchrono team is building amazing technology to enable physicians around the world to alleviate some of this burden.