U.S. Continues to Far Outspend Other Nations on Health Care

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<p>For more than a decade, The Commonwealth Fund has analyzed data on comparative health system performance compiled annually by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In a new <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2011/jul/us-health-system-perspective-comparison-twelve-industrialized">issue brief</a>, Fund researchers report on a range of OECD health data from 12 industrialized countries, including the U.S. </p>
<p>The analysis finds a number of stark differences between the U.S. and most of the other nations. For example: <br /></p>
<li>In 2008, health care spending in the U.S. reached $7,538 per capita—far above any other country studied and more than double the OECD median. Out-of-pocket spending was also higher in the U.S. than in all the other countries except Switzerland. </li>
<li>Although hospital stays were comparatively infrequent and short in the U.S., hospital spending per discharge was nearly triple the OECD median. </li>
<li>With respect to quality-of-care measures, U.S. performance was mixed, ranking high on five-year cancer survival but low on hospital admissions for chronic conditions. </li>
<p>To find out more about how the U.S. compares in other areas of health care spending, utilization, and quality, read <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2011/jul/us-health-system-perspective-comparison-twelve-industrialized">the brief</a> and view our <a href="/publications/publication/2011/jul/multinational-comparisons-health-systems-data-2010">PowerPoint chartbook.</a> <br /></p>