GET FREE E-MAIL UPDATES: SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITH SUBSCRIBE IN THE SUBJECT LINE
or subscribe to our
Twitter service

UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 19, 2010

U.S. PATIENTS 60% MORE LIKELY TO SEE A SPECIALIST THAN CANADIANS

Oregon Live - Increasing the local supply of medical specialists and technology can boost spending on those services -- without improving quality of care, many studies have found. Income plays a bigger role than sickness in how often retirees in the U.S. receive care from specialist physicians, a new study out of Portland suggests.

Mark Kaplan of Portland State University and others compared trends in the U.S. and Canada using nationally representative surveys that asked retirees about doctor visits during the past year. In both countries, retirees receive government-run health coverage.

In the U.S., those earning $50,000 or more were 74 percent more likely to have seen a specialist than those earning less than $30,000. Poor health, as measured by survey participants' answers to eight questions about well-being, was not linked to more specialist visits.

Canadians reported nearly the opposite. Among our northern neighbors, the odds of seeing a specialist didn't vary with income, but specialist visits increased significantly with poorer health, Kaplan and co-authors report in the January issue of the International Journal of Health Services.

About 80 percent of retirees in both countries reported seeing a doctor in the past year, but specialists visits accounted for 26 percent of U.S. visits versus 16 percent of Canadian visits. The findings fit with earlier studies suggesting that the U.S. has too many specialists, and that an abundance of specialists can drive up demand for their services.


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home