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LOS E.E.U.U. el gasto del cuidado médico retrasa

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | July 03, 2014
Even though the U.S. is known to spend the most on health care, its spending growth has significantly slowed down between 2000 and 2011, according to a report recently published in The Lancet.

The report was conducted by the Health Division of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and it compared U.S. health care spending and the policies that influence it with Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Health care spending growth was about 7 percent in 2002, but the other countries in the comparison had an average growth rate of just over 3 percent. However, in 2011 the U.S. growth rate decreased to about 1 percent, which was similar to the rate in the other countries.

Additionally, data released by OECD at the same time as the report found that U.S. spending grew less than the other countries in 2012 even though it did increase from 2011's numbers.

What the researchers found surprising was that the U.S. was the only country during that period to implement reforms that expanded health care coverage to a large part of the population.

But economic improvement may increase spending, since the decrease in spending was due to price dynamics including reductions or no growth in physician reimbursement rates and more use of less expensive generic drugs.

The report authors recommend that policymakers tighten Medicare and Medicaid price controls in order to avoid the costs driven by economic improvement.

"The risk that a future sustained economic recovery, and the probable general price increases that would come with it, might offset the gains made in recent years is real and should be anticipated," Luca Lorenzoni, one of the report authors, said in a statement.

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