The Commonwealth Fund looked at health care in several countries and found that the U.S. falls behind when it comes to primary care, over-prescribing medications, and managing chronic illness. This study found that care for age-related conditions and disabilities were stressing a system that’s already in need of improvement.
Understanding the Study’s Goals.
In all, the study looked at access to care, the quality of doctor-patient relationships, patient outcome, insurance coverage, and equality of care between all income levels. The goal was to find where the U.S. is doing well and where improvement is needed. The countries in the study were:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The U.K.
- The U.S.
In almost every category, other countries scored higher than the U.S. The only strong point for the United States was in doctor-patient relationships. When it comes to doctors connecting with patients, the U.S. did extremely well.
The lowest scores were in access to quality care, outcomes, insurance coverage, and equality of health care in each income group. The study found that there is a lack of communication between primary care providers and specialists. As seniors develop chronic conditions, it’s worrisome to think that information is not being shared with all doctors.
Overall, the U.S. was the worst of the 11 countries with France doing slightly better. The United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands took the top three spots.
What This Means.
One of the problems that the Commonwealth Fund report found was that doctors are over-prescribing medications for many conditions and chronic diseases. There are also issues with the elderly being able to afford the care they need. There are gaps that health insurance is not covering. For some seniors, it’s hard to afford tests and treatments that insurance won’t cover. As a result, many seniors choose to go without.
Home care services are one area where seniors may decide to go without. They need help in their home, but they worry about affording that care, so they skip it.
If your parents need help at home, family caregiving is one route that many families take. It’s admirable, but it can be stressful. Family caregivers often have to quit work or switch from full-time hours to part-time. That can put an incredible strain on family finances.
There are ways to have elder care services on a budget. Talk to us about pricing and figure out a schedule that ensures your elderly parents have help that they can afford. It may require you to balance family caregiving with professional elder care services, but it’s a way for your parents to get the help they need without straining a budget.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Elizabeth, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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