But in terms of life expectancy, the results are far less impressive.
Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University compared healthcare results in the US with those in 12 other industrialized nations. The study compared health care expenditures in conjunction with two key statistics: 15-year survival rates for people at 45 years of age and for those at 65. Their work, which was published in the journal Health Services, notes that while all the countries experienced increases in life expectancy rates and health care costs, the US finished last, scoring the lowest in life expectancy increases and the highest in increasing costs.
Surprisingly, the usual suspects – risk factors such as smoking, obesity, homicide and traffic fatalities – may not be to blame. Obesity actually grew more slowly in the US compared to other countries while smoking declined more precipitously. At the same time, rates of homicide and traffic fatalities remained mainly steady.
So what’s left? The researchers suggest spending patterns within the US health care system may be to blame. Does the US spend too much on ancillary activities – such as lobbying, marketing, administrative overhead and medical malpractice insurance – as compared to other countries?
As one of the study’s author /researchers told the New York Times, “In the US, we have a highly inefficient health system that’s taking away financial resources from other lifesaving programs."
At Source One, we recently have seen a rapid increase in demand from Healthcare providers who are looking for ways to reduce and control costs. Many industry leaders already are looking proactively for ways to increase or maintain profitability before the full effects of the Healthcare Reform Bill take place.
If you are involved with procurement for a Healthcare or Life Sciences provider, we can help.