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New survey: More than half of US chronically ill adults skip needed care due to costs
Date:11/12/2008

particularly high for delays in patients getting abnormal test results.

U.S. patient experiences indicate often poorly organized, duplicate, or wasteful care:

  • One third of U.S. patients (34%) experienced a time when either test results or medical records were not available or tests were duplicated, significantly higher than all other countries and more than double the coordination gaps reported in the Netherlands (14%).
  • Nearly half (46%) of U.S. patients reported their time had been wasted because of poorly organized care or they had received care of little or no value during the past two years. Such perceptions of waste or inefficient care were also high in France (43%), Germany (43%), and Canada (40%). They were lowest in the Netherlands (28%) and the U.K. (27%).

Overall, Dutch patients often stand out for more positive experiencesthey were the most likely to report timely, affordable access to care, experience low rates of medical errors or coordination gaps, and hold positive views about their health system. The authors observe that the contrasts between the experiences of Dutch and U.S. patients are notable and associated with the Netherlands' universal coverage (accomplished through individual mandates and private health insurance), strong primary care foundation, and widespread use of electronic medical records.

U.S. Insured as Well as Uninsured at Risk

Looking at care by insurance status within the United States, the study finds that insured as well as uninsured patients in the U.S. are at high risk for access, coordination, and safety problems. Two of five (43%) chronically ill U.S. patients who were insured all year skipped care because of costs, well above rates in other countries. However, the uninsured were at very high risk for not getting needed care, with a startling 82 percent forgoing prescriptions or recommended care despite their chronic conditions.

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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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