American adults who are seriously and chronically ill have the highest rate of difficulties in paying their medical bills or have problems getting needed care than adults with similar problems in other high-income countries like UK, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, according to a Commonwealth Fund International Survey.
Despite spending the maximum on health care than any other country, patients in the US who have been chronically ill have also reported the maximum number of medical errors and most often complained that the medical care was not well coordinated between their doctors. Almost 42% Americans said that high costs of health care kept them from seeing doctors, getting medications and avoiding recommended treatments.
AdvertisementThe researchers have suggested that all the 11 countries need to step up their efforts to provide more organized primary care and learn lessons from each other. The US can look up to other nations for guidance on providing more affordable medical care. They should focus on developing medical homes. Making health care in the US more affordable and coordinated will require implementing changes like better coordination of care and expanding insurance coverage.
The survey has been published in this week's issue of 'Health Affairs'.