Health Reform WK-EDGE US adults still skipping care due to cost
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

US adults still skipping care due to cost

By Kayla R. Bryant, J.D.

Compared to 10 other developed countries, U.S. adults are more likely to go without health care and to report struggling to afford basic necessities despite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). The Commonwealth Fund (CWF) compared patient experiences, finding that Americans were more likely to report difficulty in finding support for chronic illnesses. However, patients from all countries surveyed reported struggling to get health care outside of business hours without going to the emergency room.

Survey. CWF conducted telephone surveys of adults living in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. All the other countries surveyed besides the U.S. provide universal coverage. The U.S. performed comparatively poorly in a couple of important areas. One-third of U.S. adults surveyed went without recommended care due to cost concerns, compared to 7 percent of respondents in Germany and the U.K., Americans were also more likely to report struggling to have enough money for healthy food and housing.

The U.S. was not alone in struggling in some issues. Many respondents from all countries reported difficulty obtaining health care on weekends and during the evening hours without resorting to an emergency department. The U.S. scored roughly in the middle, at about half of respondents, while about 40 to 64 percent of adults from other countries reported similar issues. The Netherlands had the best score, at about 25 percent. Patients from the U.S. (19 percent) and France (24 percent) reported issues with access to medical records and test results or duplicate tests. Comparatively, the U.S. performed well in the areas of access to specialists, wellness discussions with physicians, and coordinated discharge planning.

Companies: The Commonwealth Fund

IndustryNews: NewsStory AccessNews EmergencyServicesNews

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