More than half of chronically ill U.S. adults skip care because of costs

The Commonwealth Fund conducted a survey of chronically ill patients in eight industrialized nations (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States), and it found that those in the U.S. are the most likely to forgo care because of the cost, as well as the most likely to experience medical errors, care coordination problems and high out-of-pocket costs.
•    More than half (54%) of U.S. chronically ill patients did not get recommended care, fill prescriptions or see a doctor when sick because of the cost, compared with 7 percent to 36 percent in the seven other countries.
•    About one-third of U.S. patients—again, the highest proportion—experienced medical, medication or lab/diagnostic test errors.
•    One-third encountered poorly coordinated care, including duplication of tests or medical records that were unavailable at the time of an appointment.
•    Forty-one percent of U.S. patients spent more than $1,000 in the past year on out-of-pocket medical costs, compared with 4 percent in the U.K. and 8 percent in the Netherlands.

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3 Responses to More than half of chronically ill U.S. adults skip care because of costs

  1. neverlanddesign says:

    I am indeed one of those Americans that skip medical due to cost. It is a shame really that the self proclaimed greatest nation in the world cannot find a way to fix this problem. Great topic..

  2. jvaconsulting says:

    Much of the decision-making on health care challenges remains in the hands of policy makers. Most of us don’t understand the healthcare systems (or lack there of), benefits, or public and private healthcare programs that are offered or available to us. When we engage in advocacy, it is often limited to our individual experiences and problems. It is time to band together as consumers. One of our clients, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, provides a vehicle for doing that. To get more information and to get involved in changing the system, go to


  3. This really reminds me of the movie “Sick-O” by Michael Moore, which was so eye-opening for me. When my husband has changed jobs, we have found this to be true of us as we wait for our health insurance to kick in, from one company to the next. We had one situation where I ignored terrible pain for eight months before I was able to have it checked due to lack of insurance … and they took out my gall bladder as a result of it, all the while scolding me for waiting to seek care. But when you are faced with looming bills of thousands of dollars, care just seems like a luxury, and pain can be put off with some Advil and a heating pad. I’m glad you posted this. Thanks!

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