International Survey: Medical Errors, Skipped Care More Common in U.S.

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<p>In a new seven-nation survey by The Commonwealth Fund, U.S. adults were more likely to say they experienced medical errors, more likely to report they went without care because of the cost, and more likely to feel the health care system needs to be rebuilt completely. The results, published in the <em>Health Affairs</em> Web Exclusive, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=30405&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D568237%26%23doc568237">Toward Higher-Performance Health Systems: Adults' Health Care Experiences in Seven Countries, 2007,</a> also show that U.S. adults have the highest out-of-pocket costs and greatest problems paying medical bills.<br><br>In the survey of 12,000 adults in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, one-third of U.S. adults called for rebuilding the system, the highest rate of any country surveyed. In addition to cost concerns, the experiences of U.S. patients indicate more fragmented and inefficient care in the U.S., including medical record and test delays.<br><br>"Patients in the U.S. are frustrated by high costs and a complicated health care system," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, lead author of the study.<br><br>The survey also examined the experiences of adults who have a "medical home"--a regular source of care that is accessible and helps coordinate their care. Across all seven countries, only about half to 60 percent of adults reported having such a relationship with a health care provider. In all countries, adults with a medical home reported significantly more positive care experiences.</p>