U.S. Spends Most on Health Care Yet Among Worst in World for

by myles.estey on Oct 20, 2015 | Views: 25 | Score: 0

The United States spends around $3 trillion annually in health care expenditures. Despite more health care expenditures than any other country, the flawed health care system in the United States produces health outcomes among the worst in the world. My four charts attempt to quantify U.S. health care spending as a percentage of GDP and pinpoint explanation for excessive spending.

My first chart titled, “92 Percent of Physicians Report Defensive Medicine Practices” displays the statistic that an overwhelming majority of physicians conduct unneeded procedures to avoid lawsuits linked to $650 to $850 billion in annual health care costs. My second chart, a bar graph, titled “U.S. Health Care Expenditures as % of GDP Highest in World” compares the United States health care spending in relation to GDP with France, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and the OECD average. My third chart (a pie chart) simply displays that over three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies have ties to health care. This is an attempt to reiterate the fact that health care is “big business” in the United States. My final chart displays prices of two surgical procedures in the United States compared with prices of that in four other countries.

This “Data Story” on Savvy Roo only scratches the surface on issues related to U.S. health care spending. It is clear that the United States’ health care system is structured in a way that requires higher costs to operate when compared to systems in other OECD countries. Examining the additional health care data available will provide more insight into areas of spending and reasons for reform.

Surgery Prices in U.S. Highest in World

Bypass Surgery (in USD)Knee Replacement (in USD)
United States2563773420
South Africa1346637044
United Kingdom788314117

Three Quarters of Fortune 50 Firms in Health Care Industry

% of Fortune 50 firms with health care division or in health care industry76
% of Fortune 50 firms without involvement in health care industry24

U.S. Health Care Expenditures as % of GDP

% of GDPGlobal Average % of GDP
United States17.6
United Kingdom9.6
OECD Average9.5
Sources: pbs.org

92 % of Physicians Report Defensive Medicine Practices

% Admitting to Defensive Medicine Practice92
% Not Reporting Incidents of Defensive Medicine8

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