Study: Medical care, spending don't match

July 18, 2008 at 10:43 AM
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NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- The United States may spend a lot on healthcare but that doesn't mean Americans receive high-quality medical care, a health policy research group says.

The Commonwealth Fund report indicates that while the United States spends more than twice what other industrialized countries spend on each person for healthcare, it is last among those countries in preventing deaths through use of timely and effective medical treatment, The New York Times reported Friday.

Access to care in the United States has deteriorated since the fund's first report card in 2006 as more people are thought to either lack adequate coverage or have no coverage at all, the New York non-profit group said.

Representatives from healthcare systems and business said they see the need for change.

U.S. healthcare has "substantial room for improvement," said Dr. James J. Mongan, chief executive of Partners HealthCare System, a medical network in Boston.

The report "documents that it's been as bad as we have been thinking it is," Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents larger employers that provide medical benefits to their workers, told the Times.

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