Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2022
It’s no secret that medical bills add up quickly. Among doctor’s appointments, follow-up visits, the price of prescription medicines, and emergency room visits, the cost of one’s health can feel overwhelming. In fact, financial costs may deter many individuals from seeking the medical attention they might need, even when their needs are urgent. But are high medical care costs a problem unique to the United States?
Having dedicated our careers to handling medical malpractice claims, we understand the value of thorough and appropriate medical care. The cost of such care, however, can be outrageous and shocking. So, we decided to find out how the price of a doctor’s visit varies from country to country. We also set out to find how finances may impact decisions Americans make about when to seek care versus when they may regret doing so Americans’ medical decisions and influence medical regrets.
We surveyed over 1,000 Americans, with at least 50 respondents per state, to identify common hospital regrets. Respondents were asked a series of “yes or no” questions regarding how regretful they felt about their decision to schedule various visits to medical providers in light of the resulting costs. Respondents were then asked to rank their level of regret using a scale from “no regret” to “full regret”. Additional questions evaluated the role of cost in one’s decision to seek medical care or make medical decisions.
First, we calculated the average cost of a 15-minute visit to a private doctor in countries all over the world. These costs were then converted to U.S. dollars for comparison purposes. Perhaps to the surprise of some, the U.S. is not the most expensive country to visit a private doctor in. Instead, the data showed that the title goes to the unassuming Denmark, where the average cost to see a private doctor for 15 minutes is a whopping $240: over $100 more than the second-most expensive nation and well over twice the cost of a comparable private doctor visit in the U.S. Israel, Austria, Anguilla, and Lebanon round out the top five most expensive nations for a visit to a private doctor, ranging in costs price from $119 to $137 for a routine 15-minute visit. The U.S. ranks as the eighth-most expensive nation, with a 15-minute visit to a private doctor averaging around $104.
On the opposite end of the price spectrum are the least expensive nations to see a private doctor. The lowest cost for a 15-minute visit ($3.41) was found in Venezuela. This takes the crown as the least expensive nation, where a 15-minute visit costs only $3.41: a number less than most people’s Starbucks order. This number may seem shockingly low, but a trip to the doctor in other nations at the lower end of the cost spectrum is comparable in price. The five most cost-friendly nations for a visit to the doctor are either in South America or in and around the Middle East: Kyrgyzstan, Suriname, Uzbekistan, and Syria finish out the five least expensive nations to see a private doctor, with prices all averaging under $8.
Next, we took a look at common hospital regrets to better understand how price plays a role in Americans’ medical decisions. It’s evident that Americans struggle to weigh financial costs with the expense of one’s health. It turns out that cost is a factor in nearly 84% of Americans’ decisions to find medical care. A majority of people—61.9%—have chosen not to seek medical care due to the cost. Consequently, our team found that nearly 40% of respondents Americans have let an illness or injury worsen after deciding not to go to the doctor due to the cost. Those that prioritize their health over concerns about their ability to pay for the care they need, do decide to seek medical attention. Unfortunately, many respondents are plagued with financial regret. 6 out of every 10 Americans have reported feeling regret after visiting a primary care physician due to the cost. Women are more likely to report feeling medical regret, as 62.6% of women have experienced it due to finances compared to less than half (43.7%) of men.
With so many Americans making medical decisions based on price, we decided to take a look at how cost factors into emergency situations. Approximately one in five Americans have admitted to turning down an ambulance ride to the hospital due to concerns surrounding the cost. Not only that, but 42% of Americans have driven themselves to the hospital instead of calling an ambulance.
Health insurance is a hot topic in America and is the center of much political debate. Our team sought to find out whether healthcare coverage reduces concerns about healthcare costs when considering whether to seek medical care. According to our team’s survey, over half (57%) of Americans say they are still hesitant to seek medical care due to the cost of copays and deductibles even with health insurance coverage in place. And sometimes, insurance simply doesn’t sufficiently cover the cost of medical care. 31% of Americans say their doctor has referred them to a specialist that was out of network and therefore too expensive to ultimately establish care with.
Free healthcare is what Americans truly want, according to our survey. An overwhelming 86.8% of respondents believe that medical care should be free, and 84.4% would be willing to pay higher taxes to accommodate that belief. As the only industrialized country without universal health coverage for all citizens, many Americans are willing to migrate in search of better healthcare. Nearly 52% of Americans have seriously considered moving to a different country just because they have free healthcare. It’s evident that healthcare is a serious concern, and even more evident that finances heavily factor into Americans’ medical decisions.
The cost of medical care may be overwhelming in America, but for many patients, these financial concerns fall behind one’s health and medical needs. At Weiss & Paarz, our specialized medical malpractice lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping patients seek justice after suffering catastrophic injuries resulting from medical malpractice. If you believe that you or a family member may be a victim of medical malpractice, contact us to determine if you have a legal cause of action.
Disclaimer: The historical information and specific statistics displayed above are solely designed to provide general knowledge to the public and are being used as a part of attorney marketing. Cited statistics and statements were taken from the research of various independent websites (referenced below). Weiss & Paarz did not take any steps to replicate the findings of any sources used in this infographic, nor were the numbers or results displayed above independently verified by Weiss & Paarz.