Health Care Cost and Outcome Comparisons

The Commonwealth Fund has produced a great report, “Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2006”, that provides comparisons of health care spending and outcomes for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As expected the USA spends way more and produces outcomes no better than, and in many cases worse, than other countries.

The report is in .pdf format.

Here’s a bit from the report summary:
Total Spending and Sources of Health Care Financing
• In 2004, per capita spending for all health care services ranged from a high
of $6,102 in the United States to a low of $2,083 in New Zealand. The
median for all 30 OECD countries was $2,571. The United States spent 15.3%
of GDP on health care services compared to 8.7% in the median OECD
country. Over the last ten years, Australia had the fastest average annual
growth rate of real health spending per capita and Germany the slowest.
• Among all OECD countries, the United States had the highest level of
spending from public sources in 2004. This is somewhat surprising because
only one quarter of all Americans have publicly financed health insurance.
• The United States spent over 17 times more than the median OECD country
on private health care spending (excluding out-of-pocket spending). While
private health insurance coverage is the most common source of health
insurance coverage in the United States, in other countries private
insurance is usually supplementary to public insurance coverage.
• Out-of-pocket spending per capita in the United States was more than twice
as high as in the median OECD country.
• As of 2005, the United Kingdom’s public investment per capita in Health
Information Technology (HIT) was nearly 450 times that of the United States.

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