How US primary care compares to other wealthy nations

Among 10 high-income countries, the U.S. trails its peers in access to and continuity of primary care, according to a study released March 28 by the Commonwealth Fund. 

The study compares the state of primary care in the U.S. with nine other high-income nations: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Findings are based on data from the Commonwealth Fund's 2022 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians and the 2023 International Health Policy Survey of adults age 18 and older. 

The 2022 survey was administered to nationally representative samples of practicing primary care physicians in the 10 countries studied. The 2023 survey collected data from nationally representative samples of noninstitutionalized adults age 18 and older in the 10 countries studied. More information about the methodology is available here

Five findings from the analysis:

1. At least 86% of respondents in all 10 countries reported having a regular physician or place to go for care. However, adults in the U.S. (87%), Sweden (88%) and Canada (86%) had the lowest rates.

2. Only about 2 of 5 adults in the U.S. and Australia reported having been with their primary care physician for five years or more, a significantly lower proportion than in the other countries studied.

3. Less than a third of U.S. primary care providers reported making frequent or occasional home visits compared to more than two-thirds of physicians in other countries surveyed.

4. About a third of physicians in the U.S. and Germany reported that their practices usually screen or assess patients for at least one social need, such as housing, financial, and food insecurity. Physicians in the other countries assessed were less likely to do these screenings. 

5. Less than 4 in 10 physicians in the U.S. reported usually receiving information about changes to their patient's care or medication plans from specialists or hospitals.

Read more about the study here

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars