Healthcare in the United States is the most expensive in the world, but it's not the best, according to new research.
For each person, the U.S. spent $7,690 on medical care in 2009, according to data from the Commonwealth Fund research group. That was 17% of GDP at the time and the most of the 13 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.
Healthcare spending in the U.S. was three times more than in
But it's not wealthy or older patients or a surplus of hospitals and doctors that cause prices in the U.S. to be so high. The authors of the report authors claim it's because many medical services used in this country are unnecessary or inefficient.
Consider: The U.S. had a smaller elderly population than any country in the study except New Zealand, more smokers than only Sweden and more physicians per capita than only Japan. Americans have fewer doctor consultations and hospital beds than most other countries, according to the data.
But the healthcare system in the U.S. sucks up more resources than any other nation, researchers found. Prices for brand-name drugs, office visits and medical procedures are the highest here, and hospitals are more likely to use expensive technologies such as
For all that money, American patients aren't even getting top-notch hospital care, drugs, diagnostic exams or physicians, according to the report.
The report found that the U.S. has the world’s best