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Health Aff (Millwood). 1997 Nov-Dec;16(6):163-71.

In search of value: an international comparison of cost, access, and outcomes.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, USA.


The United States spent the most resources on health care of all the twenty-nine industrialized countries in 1996 by a wide margin. Managed care and other recent initiatives have been credited with slowing the rate of increase in the U.S. health care spending in recent years. Although the rate of increase slowed, it was still more rapid than the rate in most other industrialized countries between 1990 and 1996. Among the twenty-nine industrialized countries, the United states had the lowest percentage of its population eligible for publicly mandated insurance in 1995. Since 1960 Greece, Korea, and Mexico have surpassed the United States on this measure. AMong the twenty-nine industrialized countries, only the United States had less than half of its population eligible for publicly mandated health insurance in 1995. The United States appears to be comparable to the other G7 countries in terms of access to physicians, in-patient hospital services, and pharmaceuticals. However, on outcomes indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality, the United States is frequently in the bottom quartile among the twenty-nine industrialized countries, and its relative ranking has been declining since 1960.

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