Navigation Links
Using Canada's Health System as Model Might Cut U.S. Costs: Study
Date:10/30/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1980, health care costs in the United States could have been about $2.15 trillion less if Canadian cost-saving measures had been used, according to a new study.

Over the same period, health care spending in the United States grew nearly three times faster than in Canada's Medicare program, even though Canadian law bans co-payments and deductibles, the City University of New York researchers noted.

"Canada's Medicare program has been much more successful in controlling costs than the U.S. Medicare program," said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor in CUNY's School of Public Health.

Many factors play into the difference, Woolhandler said.

"Canada's system is a real single-payer system -- our system is single-payer for only a portion of the population," she said.

This results in higher administrative costs in the United States compared to Canada, Woolhandler said. "In the U.S., administrative costs are about 31 percent of health care costs and it's about 16 percent in Canada," she said.

In addition, hospitals in Canada are paid less than in the United States. Also, the Canadian government negotiates drug prices to get the lowest cost, while the U.S. government is prohibited by law from negotiating drug costs for Medicare patients, Woolhandler said.

Medical malpractice costs also are lower in Canada, she noted.

Even though costs are lower in Canada, health outcomes are akin to the those for the United States, Woolhandler said.

"Canadians' life expectancy is longer than in the United States," she said. "Access to care is better in Canada."

In the United States, access to care is limited by costs, Woolhandler said. One criticism of the Canadian system is that people have to wait for care, but Woolhandler says those who have to wait are only a small minority of patients.

Woolhandler, who was a founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, is an advocate for a true single-payer system in the United States.

"The Unites States has serious problems with costs of health care generally and costs of Medicare specifically," she said. "We need to look at the cost-control methods used in Canada that have worked rather than unproven methods proposed by politicians that are unlikely to work."

The report was published in the Oct. 29 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Woolhandler and Dr. David Himmelstein, also a professor in the CUNY School of Public Health, analyzed American and Canadian Medicare spending.

They found, after adjusting for inflation, U.S. Medicare spending rose almost 200 percent from 1980 to 2009; Canada's rose 73 percent.

Woolhandler noted that some politicians want to replace Medicare with a voucher system that seniors could use to buy health insurance. Others advocate incentives to limit care. Neither option is a proven way of cutting costs, Woolhandler said.

One critic says the analysis by Woolhandler and Himmelstein is "superficial" and doesn't take into account the differences between the United States and Canada.

"There are a hundred other reasons for the differences, which are difficult to disentangle about how we practice medicine in the U.S.," said Stuart Altman, a distinguished professor of national health policy at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management, in Waltham, Mass.

The U.S. medical care system is more expensive to run, he said. For one thing, people in medicine in the United States make more money than in Canada, Altman said.

Altman said there is really no way to bring costs down in the United States.

"We are trying to do that," he said. "We are trying to rearrange the delivery system to be more efficient, but once we have climbed up that ladder and created this delivery system, it's very hard to climb back down."

"The only hope we have is to slow the rate of growth," Altman said. "There is no way, short of a catastrophe, to walk down that ladder and bring our health care system to look like Canada or anyone else."

"Health care in other countries is a social service," he said. "In the United States, it's big business."

More information

For more information on U.S. health care costs, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation.

SOURCES: Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., professor, School of Public Health, City University of New York; Stuart Altman, Ph.D., Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass.; Oct. 29, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. UGA researchers boost efficacy of drugs by using nanoparticles to target powerhouse of cells
2. GPs using unreliable websites for tinnitus information, study finds
3. Technique using CT linked with improved detection of lymph node metastasis in patients with melanoma
4. Cancer-causing gene alone doesnt trigger pancreatic cancer, Mayo-led study finds
5. Deep-sea crabs grab grub using UV vision
6. Cyborg Tissue Created Using Nano-Wires
7. New device to remove stroke-causing blood clots proves better than standard tool
8. Scientists ID Cancer-Causing Agent in Smokeless Tobacco
9. Researchers aim to grow salivary glands using patients own cells
10. Adolescents in substance abuse programs report using others med marijuana
11. Is Improved Vaccine Causing Whooping Cough Outbreaks?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Using Canada's Health System as Model Might Cut U.S. Costs: Study
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... technology standard in staffing, scheduling, and reporting for healthcare organizations. This comprehensive ... throughout the entire staffing process. StaffBridge technology improves staffing efficiency, maximizes resource ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... MN (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... of its newly designed TaskMate Go. Core benefits and advantages built into the ... and a stylish, functional look and feel. Ability to gain the benefits embedded ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Dr. Ronald ... officially announced the appointment of Peter A. Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-dist., FACEP, ... (LUCOM), beginning April 10. Dr. Bell comes to Liberty from the Ohio University ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The narrative in “ Signal 8: ... ’s true account of his paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the tragedies he saw, as ... attempts to overcome them. , Schanssema, initially unsure of the career path he wanted ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network (IFN) President ... later this year. Dyer started as the Chairman of the Management Committee when ... of the corporation including the recruitment of investor/owners and development of the business plan. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... ITL Limited, ( ASX : ITD ), une société de ... excellents résultats semestriels clos le 31 décembre 2016 par ... « Résultats et mise à jour sur la croissance biomédicale ... Faits marquants Bénéfice ... hausse de 104 %) Bénéfice par action ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 23, 2017 Non-alcoholic steatohepataitis (NASH) ... various drugs being developed for the treatment ... drugs that are in various phases of ... focuses on novel pharmacologic drugs & regenerative ... therapies, recombinant proteins and RNA-based therapeutics, but ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb. 24, 2017  Xynomic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology ... it has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop, ... HDAC inhibitor targeting hematological and solid tumors. ... 1 and 2 clinical trials of Abexinostat in ... have already been completed, demonstrating that Abexinostat is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: