U.S. Leads in Per Capita Health Spending, Lags in IT Spending

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<p>U.S. health spending per capita significantly and consistently outpaces that of other industrialized nations. According to the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. per capita spending in 2003 was two-and-a-half times the comparable median for OECD countries.<br><br>Adopting health information technology (HIT) can help lower health spending and improve quality. Yet the United States lags behind other countries in its efforts to implement HIT by as much as a dozen years, finds a new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=22099&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D372221%26%23doc372221">Commonwealth Fund-supported study</a> in the May/June issue of <em>Health Affairs.</em><br><br>The authors--led by Gerard Anderson, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health--analyze U.S. spending and initiatives within an international context and identify key issues that could help ease HIT implementation: creating incentives, ensuring interoperability, and easing the public's privacy concerns.</p>