Monday, March 04, 2013

US Ranks Last In Quality Of Healthcare Among Developed Countries, Yet Spends The Most

The US has relatively poor life expectancy among developed countries, as this chart from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows:

Yet we spend more on health care than any other country in the world:

From Wikipedia
"Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States was at or near the bottom in infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and rates of disability. Together, such issues place the U.S. at the bottom of the list for life expectancy. On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost four fewer years than those in the top-ranked country.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spent more on health care per capita ($7,146), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (15.2%), than any other nation in 2008. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among similar countries, and notes U.S. care costs the most."


Anonymous said...

guess which country is the only one in the whole world that has a for profit healthcare system?

RB said...

Your facts must be wrong. By congressman and senators assure me the United States has the best health care system in the world. Surely these men know their facts? :(

Bix said...

Judge Judy says about teenagers, "You know how to tell when they're not telling the truth?" "Their mouths are moving."

I'm sorry to say I have come to believe that about politicians ... of all stripes.

Anonymous said...

This chart does not really show US ranks lowest in "quality" of healthcare. It only shows US ranks lower in life expectancy. Reasons given include homicides, teen pregnancy(infant mortlity), etc. which are very high in America. In other words, the American lifestyle - not quality of care - probably plays a big role in lower life expectancy.

I tend to think the quality of care is fine, but as you say, it costs to much and people are suffering because of it.

Bix said...

To the Anonymous commenter who says that quality of care doesn't play a big role in life expectancy:

" “It was shocking to see the U.S. falling behind other countries even as costs soared ahead of them,” said lead author Peter Muennig, assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspects—smoking, obesity, traffic accidents, and homicides—are not the culprits. The U.S. doesn’t stand out as doing any worse in these areas than any of the other countries we studied, leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role in this relatively poor performance on improvements in life expectancy.”

Angela and Melinda said...

I too (like Anon #1) find the fact that we're the only country to legalize for-profit drug advertising absolutely shocking, though it's not clear how much that contributes to our low ranking. Still, if you listen to the side effects of various advertised drugs on tv ads, it's positively horrifying!

TIMP1 antibody said...

Even more than the NHS in the UK? wow.
Thanks for the article.