Posts Tagged - ‘united states’

Post border

Americans Spend Double On Health Insurance, With Worse Results

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

A study from the Commonwealth Fund compared the health care systems of several developed nations. Unfortunately, the United States was again ranked at the bottom.

The survey found that, on average, Americans spent over $7,000 on health expenses in 2007. Still, their quality of care was not the highest. The authors blame the inequitable patchwork of individual, employer-provided, and public health insurance plans that leave millions uninsured.

So if the USA isn’t on top, who is? The Netherlands had the highest overall score. Maybe our health insurance system could learn from the Dutch.

Post border
Post border

Is Ego Responsible For U.S. Healthcare Woes?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Image: Chris Schroeder under CC 3.0

In the Boston Globe, an opinion editorial by Douglas S. Brown has an interesting viewpoint regarding the problems that have faced the American health insurance system for decades. His view is that ego and hubris from all sources (hospitals, doctors, insurers, medical school professors, and even patients) has stood in the way of improvements.

He acknowledges that our nation is deservedly proud of technological innovations that increase the length and quality of life. However, we are behind several other developed nations in efficiency, quality, and access–although many refuse to acknowledge it. For example, there are too many preventable medical errors each year. Many hospital boards, meanwhile, are more concerned about flashy cosmetic improvements and additional facilities.

Physicians are trained as independent craftspersons, and have historically had little interest in teamwork. However, current compensation from health insurance plans–as well as the best outcomes–depend on cooperation. Brown feels that we can learn from our errors in order to truly become the best health care system in the world.

Post border
Post border

Does Universal Healthcare Make Canadians Healthier?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Image: abdallahh under CC 3.0

Proponents of health insurance reform must be heartened by this news: a new study has found that on average, people living in Canada are healthier than those in the United States. (The survey was only performed on Caucasians, in order to make sure that racial and ethnic disparities in their populations didn’t skew the results.)

Canadians live three years longer than the normal American life expectancy, while being less likely to suffer from chronic health conditions. Meanwhile, Americans spend more on health care.

There are many factors involved, including a lower rate of obesity. However, the authors of the study believe that Canada’s health care system–which offers access to affordable health insurance to all–plays a role. Canadians are more likely to use preventative care services, which improves their health outcomes.

Post border