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U.S. Healthcare Ranks Last Among 11 Developed Nations, Report Says

June 16, 2014 by  

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Despite having the costliest care, the United States ranks last among 11 industrialized countries on healthcare quality and access, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund published Monday ranked the United Kingdom first overall, even though its per-capita health spending is less than half that of the U.S.

The other top-ranked countries were Switzerland and Sweden. France and Canada were just above the U.S. at the bottom of the rankings.

Researchers said the U.S. was hurt by a lack of access to primary care and inefficiencies in the healthcare system overall.

They said provisions in the Affordable Care Act may help boost the country’s standing.

“It is disappointing but not surprising that despite our significant investment in healthcare, the U.S. has continued to lag behind other countries,” said lead author Karen Davis.

“With enactment of the Affordable Care Act, however, we have entered a new era in American healthcare,” she added.

The U.S. spent $8,508 per person on healthcare in 2011, compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom.

In addition to high costs, the U.S. fared poorly on several measures. It ranked last among the 11 industrialized countries on infant mortality.

Americans also experienced financial barriers. More than a third of U.S. adults reported skipping a recommended test or treatment because of cost, according to the report.

Forty percent of U.S. adults who had visited the emergency room said they could have been treated by a regular doctor if one had been available.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that supports health policy research.

–Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times

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(c)2014 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com.

Distributed by MCT Information Services.

McClatchy-Tribune

Operated jointly by the McClatchy Company and Tribune Company, MCT serves more than 1,200 media clients, online information services and information resellers across the globe. With 600-plus contributors worldwide, MCT has an exceptional variety of sources, providing detailed analyses, opinions and perspectives.

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