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Health Aff (Millwood). 1999 May-Jun;18(3):178-92.

Health spending, access, and outcomes: trends in industrialized countries.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University's Center for Hospital Finance and Mangement, Baltimore, USA.


In 1997 the United States spent $3,925 per capita on health or 13.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while the median Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country spent $1,728 or 7.5 percent. From 1990 to 1997 U.S. health spending per capita increased 4.3 percent per year, compared with the OECD median of 3.8 percent. The United States has the lowest percentage of the population with government-assured health insurance. It also has the fewest hospital days per capita, the highest hospital expenditures per day, and substantially higher physician incomes than the other OECD countries. On the available outcome measures, the United States is generally in the bottom half, and its relative ranking has been declining since 1960.

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