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

es of inefficient care were frequent for insured as well as uninsured patients, with 43 percent of insured U.S. patients reporting wasteful or disorganized care and one-third encountering coordination problems.

"The U.S. is not only facing an economic crisis, we are facing a health system crisis," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Our leaders need to come together to develop reforms which will make lasting improvements for patients, to assure universal coverage and high- quality, efficient care," she said. "With the U.S. outspending all other countries, we can't afford not to reform our health care system to secure a healthier future."

Shared Challenges

The authors point out that all eight of the country health care systems face the challenge of enhancing primary care to ensure comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, and patient-centered care for the growing number of chronically ill patients anticipated in the next decade.

Assuring good transitional care when patients leave the hospital and better information flow when they see multiple clinicians is critical for avoiding errors and preventing complications, especially for those with ongoing, complex chronic conditions. More than one-third of patients in all countries reported gaps in discharge planning when they left the hospital, with the U.S. lowest at 38 percent and France the highest at 71 percent. Patients leaving with new medications often reported failure to discuss all medications they were taking, ranging from 23 percent in Germany to 41 percent or more in Canada, France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Signaling a need for improved transitional care, nearly one of five (17󈝾%) Canadian, Dutch, and U.S. chronically ill patients with a recent hospital stay said they had been readmitted to the hospital or gone to the emergency room for complications after discharge.

In all countries, patients seeing four or more phys
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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