America's Health Care Ranks 11th—Out of 11

US is costliest, least effective among industrialized nations

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2014 4:39 AM CDT | Updated Jun 17, 2014 7:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Americans are paying a lot more money for a health care system less effective than those of other countries, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund think tank that ranks the US dead last out of 11 industrialized countries once again. The US was last overall and came in at the bottom in categories including efficiency and equity, reports the Washington Post, which notes that America's per capita health care cost was $8,508—way ahead of Norway, which has the second most expensive health care system at $5,669. The UK ranked first overall while spending $3,405 a head. Switzerland was ranked second.

"Although the US spends more on health care than any other country and has the highest proportion of specialist physicians, survey findings indicate that from the patients' perspective, and based on outcome indicators, the performance of American health care is severely lacking," the report's authors wrote. The US also came in last in the group's reports from 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004. The data for the report was collected before ObamaCare took effect, the Atlantic notes, so there is a chance that the expanded access to health insurance could finally shift the US out of last place next time around.

A doctor checks monitors during a catheterization lab heart procedure in Burlington, Vermont.
A doctor checks monitors during a catheterization lab heart procedure in Burlington, Vermont.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
Dr. Paul Nyquist points to spots of possible damage caused by a stroke.
Dr. Paul Nyquist points to spots of possible damage caused by a stroke.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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US physicians face particular difficulties receiving timely information, coordinating care, and dealing with administrative hassles. - Commonwealth Fund report

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