Overall health care frustration high in U.S.

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Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries
Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries

(HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.

Researchers surveyed 20,045 adults from 11 high-income industrialized nationals, including the United States, to examine people's experience with their country's health care system, focusing on accessing and affording care.

The researchers note that, because of costs, 37 percent of U.S. adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions, compared with 4 to 6 percent in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Forty-one percent of U.S. adults spent $1,000 or more on out-of-pocket care in the previous year, which was the highest rate. Seventy-five percent of U.S. adults said that the health system needed to undergo fundamental changes. Health care spending was $8,508 per capita in the United States, compared with $5,669 in Norway and $5,643 in Sweden, the next highest spending countries. Insurance administrative costs were also highest in the United States at $606 per person.

"The United States spends more on health care than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and quality," David Blumenthal, M.D., president of The Commonwealth Fund, said in a statement.

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