Americans with complex health care needs are more likely to forgo needed care because of financial reasons than adults in other countries, a new report from the Commonwealth Fund finds. The report, which analyzed adults with complex health care needs in 11 countries, found that 42 percent of U.S. adults surveyed reported not visiting a doctor, filling a prescription or receiving recommended care because of money issues. In addition, 27 percent of U.S. adults surveyed were either unable to pay for or encountered serious problems paying medical adults in the past year. However, the problem was mainly limited to adults under 65. Those with Medicare coverage were far less likely to go without care, the report found.
Among the other findings:
- Approximately 89 percent of U.S. health spending is concentrated within the sickest 30 percent of the population.
- Roughly 59 percent of American patients surveyed reported they had access to a same or next day appointment when they needed care. And 88 percent of Americans reported waiting less than a month to see a specialist.
- Australians reported the highest out-of-pocket medical costs; 39 percent of those surveyed said their out-of-pocket costs exceeded $1,000 in U.S. dollars, compared with 36 percent of Americans, who reported the second highest costs.
- Patients in the United Kingdom and Switzerland were the most likely to have a medical home; nearly three-quarters of those surveyed in both countries were connected to physician practices with "medical home characteristics."