Huge cost of United States healthcare driven by drugs prices and salaries

Huge cost of US healthcare driven by drugs prices and salaries

Huge cost of US healthcare driven by drugs prices and salaries

The study updated that the United State spends more on health care than other industrialized nations.

The results suggest that people looking to lower US health care spending should look beyond factors commonly blamed for the imbalance - such as utilization of the medical system - when searching for solutions, the researchers write in the paper.

"There's something funky about the US system that's not just about the administrative inefficiencies of having more than one payer", Woskie said.

The US also spends more on administrative costs.

Recent attempts to reform American healthcare have assigned blame for the high cost of care to almost every sector - from drug companies to hospitals to health insurers.

The findings were published March 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These costs are despite similar utilization rates for the USA compared to the other nations. "This gap and the challenges it poses for American consumers, policymakers, and business leaders was a major impetus for healthcare reform in the USA, including delivery reforms implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act", said senior author Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard Chan School and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI).

An extensive new analysis of why the USA spends so much more on health care than other rich countries reinforces the answer other recent studies have found: It's not that Americans get more care or relies on specialists to a greater extent than people in those other countries.

Spending in other countries ranged from 9.6 percent of Australia's GDP to 12.4 percent of Switzerland's GDP. The United States spent 17.8% of its gross domestic product in 2016 on healthcare.

Fewer people in the United States are insured -90%, compared to other countries which ranged from 99% to 100%. The U.S. also had the lowest health-adjusted life expectancy, or the average length of time a person lives in good health: 69 years, compared to a mean of 72 years in the other areas.

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. 'However, there are many different beliefs as to why this is the case'.

Although this is true - USA spends a little less on social services than their peers - investigators claim that this is not responsible for the rising health care costs.

Belief: The U.S. provides too much inpatient hospital care.

Researchers debunked another belief that claims the U.S. doesn't spend enough money on social services that benefit health and helps prevent illness, thus contributing to higher health care costs.

'While the U.S. does spend a bit less on social services, it is not an outlier, spending more than countries like Canada, ' Dr Jha said. In an editorial accompanying the new study, Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra of the University of Chicago and Harvard note that the latest analysis doesn't delve into the qualitative details of health care treatments Americans get compared to people in other countries.

However, the US had higher utilization of magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans compared to the others.

America has "the best outcomes for those who have heart attacks or strokes, but is below average for avoidable hospitalizations for patients with diabetes and asthma", said the report.

What does explain higher spending in the U.S.is administrative complexity and high prices across a wide range of healthcare services. The US spends much more than other countries on planning, regulating, and managing health systems and services.

Doctors and nurses made more money in the USA than in the other countries, with nonspecialist physicians getting salaries of about $218,000, compared to an average of about $123,000 for eight other countries in the study.

Common brand-name medicines were often double the price seen in other nations. Prices of drugs like cholesterol-lowering Crestor or diabetes medication Lantus were more than twice as high in the US than in other countries.

"As the USA continues to struggle with high healthcare spending, it is critical that we make progress on curtailing these costs".

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