Chronically ill patients who have access to a medical home are less likely to report medical errors and more likely to have a better rapport with their doctor, according to an international survey released today by the Commonwealth Fund.
The study looked at more than 18,000 sick adults from 11 countries, including Canada, France, the U.K. and the U.S., and found that those who were connected to a medical home – a type of primary care that coordinates treatment received across providers – reported positive health care experiences.
The study also underscores the health care system’s financial squeeze on patients in the U.S.
According to the study, 42 percent of U.S. patients reported not visiting a doctor, not filling a prescription or skipping treatment, or not getting recommended care due to the high cost of care. Adults under the age of 65 bore the brunt of the burden. About half of those patients went without care due to costs and 35 percent reported problems with medical bills.
“Despite spending far more on health care than any other country, the United States practically stands alone when it comes to people with illness or chronic conditions having difficulty affording health care and paying medical bills,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.
The authors note that they hope the Affordable Care Act will address issues related to quality, access and affordability of care. The study was published today in Health Affairs.