A new study is confirming what we at Innovative Medicine have been preaching for over a decade – in healthcare, it’s not what you spend but how you spend it. In other words, valuing quality over quantity. The following article, by Karen Kaplan and published in the L.A. Times, breaks down a recent study that examines why the U.S. spends so much more on healthcare than other rich countries, yet Americans’ health is measurably worse.
A few key points that came of this study include:
- Americans spend too much on healthcare because prescription drugs are more expensive here.
- Americans spend too much on healthcare because our administrative costs are through the roof.
- Americans can bring their spending in line other countries by cutting back on wasteful healthcare use.
Coincidentally, employing a more integrative and natural approach that addresses root causes, focuses on preventing diseases before they become chronic, and can accurately assess and personalize protocols without trial-and-error methodology would seem to address these points and greatly improve the quality of healthcare while reducing costs.
Here’s the full article. Enjoy!
With healthcare, it’s not what you spend but how you spend it
It’s no secret that the United States spends far more on healthcare than the world’s other wealthy nations, yet we get far less bang for our bucks.
By many measures, we Americans are in worse health than our global peers. Infant mortality here (at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births) is far above the average for a group of 11 rich countries that includes the U.S. (3.6 deaths per 1,000 live births). More than 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese; among all 11 countries, the average is 56%. And our life expectancy of 78.8 years is the lowest of any of the 11 countries, whose combined average is 81.7 years.
How can this be when America spends 17.8% of its GDP on health — nearly 55% more than the group as a whole?
Newly available data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Commonwealth Fund help answer this perennial question.
Researchers from Harvard University and the London School of Economics and Political Science combed through the data to see whether common perceptions about the U.S. health system were indeed true.
They focused on how well we stacked up against 10 countries with high incomes, high health spending, and “populations with similar demographic characteristics that have similar burdens of illness,” they explained. The countries in this group were Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The results of the analysis were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
Here’s a look at which items of conventional wisdom appear to be true and which are not supported by the data.
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