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Americans forgo health care because of cost

November 14, 2008 by  

Healthcare costs pinch AmericansHealthcare costs in America just seem to keep rising – and patients could be paying the price.

A majority of chronically ill U.S. patients do not receive recommended care, fill prescriptions or see a doctor when sick due to costs – more than any of the other countries studied in a new survey.

The study, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, found that over half of Americans went without care because of the cost.

Researchers surveyed chronically ill adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States and found that Americans were at a particularly high risk of going without care because of the costs associated with being sick.

Although the study notes that the U.S. did well in categories such as patient-centered care, one-third of Americans, more than any other nation in the survey, reported poorly coordinated care such as being given the wrong medication or receiving incorrect test results.

The findings were in line with a 2005 study from the Centers for Disease Control which found that 49 percent of uninsured adults with a chronic illness skipped care.

The 2005 CDC study also found that while the uninsured typically had less contact with health care providers, they still had large out of pocket expenses with 21 percent saying they had spent $2,000 or more over the previous year.

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