Older Americans May Have More Problems With Their Health But They Also Have A Quicker Access To Specialists
A new study was done by Robin Osborn, Donald Moulds, David Squires, Michelle M. Doty, and Chloe Anderson which surveyed 15,617 adults of ages sixty-five and older in the countries of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The said study was supported by The Commonwealth Fund and will also appear in the latest issue of Health Affairs.
Some of the key findings in the said survey are:
- Only 57 percent of American respondents could get same-day or next-day medical appointments when they are sick. This was lower than many counties (83 percent in France and New Zealand and 81 percent in Germany) but higher than Canada (45 percent).
- Regarding getting specialty care appointments, the reverse was found: Eighty-six percent of Americans reported waiting less than four weeks, better than any other country except Switzerland (82 percent).
- In the area of care coordination, Americans were the most likely (23 percent) to report that test results or records were not available at doctors’ appointments or duplicate tests had been ordered. However, in assessing post-hospitalization care, Americans were among the least likely (28 percent) to have experienced gaps in discharge planning.
The groups of authors have already done many kinds of international survey analyses. This survey of an older population, with near-universal coverage of Americans by Medicare or other health insurances, allowed the authors to be able to compare more directly the performance of the US health care delivery system with other industrialized nations.