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Media Alert: The Physicians Foundation Points to Poverty as Cause for U.S. Healthcare Spending in Journal of the American Medical Association "Letter to the Editor"

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The
Physicians Foundation
, a nonprofit organization that seeks to
empower physicians, today announced the publication of a "letter to the
editor" in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
addressing the notion that healthcare spending in the United States
exceeds that of other high-income countries. The study, "Health Care
Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries," was
conducted by researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public
Health and published in March 2018.

The authors conclude that the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on
healthcare but with similar utilization rates compared to other nations
(United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, the
Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark). The driver, according to the
authors, is the cost of labor and goods.

However, in response, the Physicians Foundation board members and Texas
Medical Association leadership Lou Goodman, PhD, CAE, and Joseph
Valenti, MD, focus on the main underlying cause: the U.S. has the lowest
social services to healthcare spend ratio yet the highest rates of
poverty. The connection between social spending, utilization and total
cost of care is being more closely examined at the federal level.
Additionally, provider systems and commercial payors are becoming more
aware of the significant connection between poverty and healthcare
costs, seeking social programs to address both cost and health outcomes.
The Physicians Foundation has been steadfast in its view that programs
must be created to address the pervasive, debilitating effects of
poverty on healthcare costs, resource utilization and overall patient
outcomes.

The full letter to the editor can be viewed here.
For more information about the Physicians Foundation, please visit www.physiciansfoundation.org.

About the Physicians Foundation

The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that
seeks to empower physicians to lead in the delivery of high-quality,
cost-efficient healthcare. As the U.S. healthcare system continues to
evolve, the Physicians Foundation is steadfast in its determination to
strengthen the physician-patient relationship, support physicians in
sustaining their medical practices and help practicing physicians
navigate the changing healthcare system.

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