How Do American Healthcare Costs Stack Up Globally?

An angiogram claim on Canada's public health plan costs $35. In the United States, a study of hundreds of health plans revealed the same procedure costs, on average, $914, with a range from $173 in the lowest quartile and $2,430 in the 95th percentile.

The study, conducted by the International Federation of Health Plans, compared variations of medical and hospital prices in 2012 across 12 countries, including those with government-controlled and privately run healthcare systems.

The United States had the most expensive average cost for all procedures and drugs studied except for cataract surgery, in which the U.S. average of $922 was the third-highest. In all cases, the United States' 95th percentile prices far exceeded the next highest country's average.

Argentina, which has a blended public and private payor system, had the lowest per-day hospital costs at $429. The United States' lowest 25th percentile cost of $1,514 was higher than the next most expensive country, Australia. The American average daily hospital cost was $4,287, with top costs soaring to $12,537.

Healthcare spending as a percent of GDP was highest in America at 17.6 percent, compared with developed nations' average of 9.5 percent. The U.S. economy is also the largest of all the nations included in the study.

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