Redesigning Healthcare Systems to Support the Older Population

December 5, 2014 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​More than 15,000 adults age 65 or over from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States completed a survey showing that while there is great diversity among the countries regarding how care is delivered, there are improvements to make in order to manage older adults' care more effectively, according to an article in the November 2014 issue of Health Affairs. Most of the surveyed adults had a least one chronic condition, with U.S. participants having the highest percentage of respondents with at least one (87%). More than half of the respondents from the United States also were taking four or more medications, compared with 40% of respondents in eight other countries. Regarding cost and access, the majority of U.S. residents have healthcare coverage through Medicare, but they were the most likely of other participants to report that cost was a barrier to receiving care: 21% of U.S. respondents spent $2,000 or more on out-of-pocket expenses in the last year and 19% of U.S. respondents reported that they avoided medical care because of cost. Comparatively, less than 10% of respondents in other countries spent that much money or reported cost barriers.

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