U.S. healthcare spending as percentage of GDP exceeds — by far — that of other high-income countries, says a new Commonwealth Fund study, summarized here by Becker’s Hospital Review.
Among the other findings:
- In out-of-pocked healthcare costs, the U.S. was second only to Switzerland.
- Although U.S. public spending is high, the country covers fewer citizens.
* Americans have fewer hospital and physician visits.
* Healthcare prices in the U.S. are higher.
* The U.S. was the only country where healthcare spending was a greater share of the GDP than social-services spending.
* The U.S. has poor population health despite its high spending on healthcare.
Much of the cost can be explained by the fact that U.S. physicians and healthcare executives are by far the world’s highest paid and, especially, that providers are still mostly compensated on a fee-for-service basis — an incentive to drive up costs to maximize providers’ wealth.