U.S. still outspends rest of world on healthcare

The United States continues to outspend the rest of the world's 12 most advanced nations on healthcare by a wide margin, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund study. The latest data continues to be a wake-up call for hospital exeutives to try and rethink their cost equations.

According to the study, the U.S. spent $7,538 per capita. Norway, the second highest-spending country, spent only $5,003 per capita. In New Zealand, spending was only $2,683 per capita.

The study, which focuses on a dozen of the 34 nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, concluded that the median spending among all the countries is $2,995. Among the 12 countries examined, the median spent was 8.7 percent of GDP, while healthcare spending was 16 percent of GDP in the U.S.

"Since 1980, the U.S. has spent far more each year on healthcare than other wealthy nations, and health spending is consuming an increasing share of both government and household budgets," said David Squires, a senior research associate at the Commonwealth Fund, notes Healthcare Finance News.

However, between 1998 and 2008, spending on healthcare in the U.S. grew at 3.4 percent a year, slightly below the OECD median of 3.9 percent. Fund researchers suggest that healthcare reform will slow cost increases even more.

For more:
- check out the Commonwealth Fund study (.pdf)
- read the Healthcare Finance News article