Despite having the costliest care, the U.S. ranks last among 11 industrialized countries on healthcare quality and access, according to a new report.  The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund published Monday ranked the United Kingdom first overall, even though its per-capita health spending is less than half that of the U.S.  The U.S. spent $8,508 per person on healthcare in 2011 compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom.  LA Times article

While the US got kudos for preventative services,  Researchers said the U.S. was hurt by  "inefficiencies in the healthcare system overall."  Does this surprise anyone?    The report also stated that " Forty-percent of U.S. adults who had visited the emergency room said they could have been treated by a regular doctor if one had been available"  Really?   Do you buy that?  With minute clinics at every CVS and Walgreens in the metropolitan area along with extended are facilities, I refuse to believe people don't have access to Dr.s.

I unfortunately suffered an unrelenting cough this winter that turned into Pneumonia.  Twice I visited my Dr. and was able to get in to see him the day I called, and his charge for the visit:  $60.  Years ago I went to a clinic that charged me $120 for a visit!   Does it pay to shop?  You bet!  Do most Americans do this? Probably not.  The reason that many people continue to visit the ER for minor things is two fold: 1) most plans have a reasonable copay to visit the ER, the rest is paid at 100% (this is changing with ACA/Obamacare plans), most having $500 and $600 copays for ER) and 2) the Federal Law requires hospitals to treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay or if they have insurance; they cannot be turned away.  So where do the Uninsureds go?  You got it:  the ER!   Can I we get a big DUH?!

The other top-ranked countries were Switzerland and Sweden.  At the bottom of the rankings were France and Canada, just above the U.S.  To read more...USA Today article