U.S. spends 4 times as much on health administration as Canada

$2,500 per person in U.S., $500 in Canada. Here’s why

Whether it’s interpreting medical bills, struggling to get hospital records, or fighting with an insurance provider, Americans are accustomed to battling bureaucracy to access their health care. But patients’ time and effort are not the only price of this complexity.

Administrative costs now make up about 34% of total health care expenditures in the United States - twice the percentage Canada spends, according to a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

These costs have increased over the last two decades, mostly due to the growth of private insurers’ overhead. The researchers examined 2017 costs and found that if the U.S. were to cut its administrative spending to match Canadian levels, the country could have saved more than $600 billion in just that one year.

 

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