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By Jill Drachenberg, Editor, Relias Media
Maternal mortality rates and high out-of-pocket medical costs continue to climb compared to 10 other high-income countries, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.
The study compared access to healthcare and health outcomes for women in the United States to women in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are 14 per 100,000 live births. Sweden has the lowest rate, at 4 deaths for every 100,000 births.
While passage of the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. brought greater access to coverage and needed preventive screenings, care dissatisfaction and care costs continue to rise, according to the report. Other findings include:
The U.S. spends more per year on healthcare than any other country, yet continues to lag behind other countries when it comes to low access to primary care, poorer outcomes, and high rates of chronic diseases.
“Since research suggests that the differences in health spending between the U.S. and the rest of the world stem largely from higher prices, payment and delivery system reform must be at the top of the nation’s policy agenda,” the study authors concluded. “Bringing health costs under control will help improve access to health insurance and health care.”