Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

U.S. physicians spend nearly four times more on health insurance costs than Canadian counterparts

Date:
August 4, 2011
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
U.S. physicians spend nearly $61,000 more than their Canadian counterparts each year on administrative expenses related to health insurance, according to a new study.

U.S. physicians spend nearly $61,000 more than their Canadian counterparts each year on administrative expenses related to health insurance, according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Toronto.

Related Articles


The study, published in the August issue of the journal Health Affairs, found that per-physician costs in the U.S. averaged $82,975 annually, while Ontario-based physicians averaged $22,205 -- primarily because Canada's single-payer health care system is simpler.

Canadian physicians follow a single set of rules, but U.S. doctors grapple with different sets of regulations, procedures and forms mandated by each health insurance plan or payer. The bureaucratic burden falls heavily on U.S. nurses and medical practice staff, who spend 20.6 hours per physician per week on administrative duties; their Canadian counterparts spend only 2.5 hours.

"The magnitude of that difference is what is interesting," said co-author Sean Nicholson, Cornell professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology. "It's the nurse time and the clerical time, rather than physician time, that's different. That's driving the increased costs."

The authors offer ideas U.S. policymakers and health insurers could use to streamline inefficiencies and reduce administrative costs. Chief among them: standardize transactions and conduct them electronically. Physical mail, faxes and telephone calls can slow practices down, according to Nicholson. The result is an additional $27 billion spent every year in the U.S. when compared to the costs incurred by physicians in Canada.

"We're not saying that these extra $27 billion are wasted," Nicholson said. "Health insurance companies put some of these rules in place to keep health care costs down. The $27 billion of 'extra' cost to physicians have to be balanced against some of the benefits that come from following these rules."

Nicholson said the study should be used to examine which rules make cost-benefit sense, and which rules need reform. "That's what we hope will come out of this," he said, "that informed decisions can be made by private and public health care insurers about what really works and what is not worth the money."

Funding for the study came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Morra, S. Nicholson, W. Levinson, D. N. Gans, T. Hammons, L. P. Casalino. US Physician Practices Versus Canadians: Spending Nearly Four Times As Much Money Interacting With Payers. Health Affairs, 2011; DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0893

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "U.S. physicians spend nearly four times more on health insurance costs than Canadian counterparts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804082005.htm>.
Cornell University. (2011, August 4). U.S. physicians spend nearly four times more on health insurance costs than Canadian counterparts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804082005.htm
Cornell University. "U.S. physicians spend nearly four times more on health insurance costs than Canadian counterparts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110804082005.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) A survey of Boston mothers and toddlers found that 15 percent of two-year-olds drink coffee and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins