Health-care expenditure and health policy in the USA versus other high-spending OECD countries

Luca Lorenzoni*, Annalisa Belloni, Franco Sassi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The USA has exceptional levels of health-care expenditure, but growth has slowed dramatically in recent years, amidst major efforts to close the coverage gap with other countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We reviewed expenditure trends and key policies since 2000 in the USA and five other high-spending OECD countries. Higher health-sector prices explain much of the difference between the USA and other high-spending countries, and price dynamics are largely responsible for the slowdown in expenditure growth. Other high-spending countries did not face the same coverage challenges, and could draw from a broader set of policies to keep expenditure under control, but expenditure growth was similar to the USA. Tightening Medicare and Medicaid price controls on plans and providers, and leveraging the scale of the public programmes to increase efficiency in financing and care delivery, might prevent a future economic recovery from offsetting the slowdown in health sector prices and expenditure growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet
Volume384
Issue number9937
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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