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High U.S. Health Spending Likely a Result of More Technology, Higher Prices, New Analysis Finds

Euros and Dollars

Despite spending far more on health care than other high-income countries in 2013, Americans had comparatively poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and higher rates of chronic conditions, according to a new Commonwealth Fund analysis.

Coauthors David Squires and Chloe Anderson found that higher spending appeared to be largely driven by greater use of medical technology and higher health care prices, rather than more frequent doctor visits or hospital admissions. In contrast, U.S. spending on social services made up a relatively small share of the economy relative to other countries.

The report compares 13 high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Also listen to our New Directions in Health Care podcast, which features interviews with David Squires and Yale University’s Elizabeth Bradley.

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