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Many Americans Dissatisfied With Their Medical Care
Date:11/1/2007

f costs, to report medical errors when sick, and to encounter high out-of-pocket costs and struggle to pay their medical bills," Schoen said during the teleconference.

Schoen's team found that one third of U.S. adults said the health-care system needed rebuilding, which was the highest rate in any country. In addition to costs, U.S. patients said they received more fragmented and inefficient care, including medical record and test delays, and more time wasted on paperwork, compared with patients in other countries. "Both low- and high-income patients expressed these views," Schoen said.

U.S. patients also said they had the highest rates of lab test errors and some of the highest rates of medical or medication errors. These errors were highest among patients seeing multiple doctors or with multiple chronic illnesses, Schoen said. In the United States, one-third of patients who had chronic conditions reported a medical, medication, or test error in the last two years.

Many U.S. adults also said they were likely to go without care because of costs. Thirty-seven percent of all U.S. adults and 42 percent of those with chronic conditions said cost had kept them from taking prescribed medications, seeing a doctor when sick, or receiving recommended care last year. These rates were far higher than all other countries, Schoen noted.

Patients in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom rarely reported not getting needed medical care because of costs, the survey found.

"The Netherlands stands out for strong positive endorsement of their health-care system -- confidence in care, quality and safety, and access to the latest technology," Schoen said. "The Netherlands also stands out with low concern with access due to cost, as do Canada and the U.K.," she added.

Moreover, one-fifth of patients in the United States said they had serious problems paying medical bills. That was more than double the rate in the ne
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