Higher fees paid to US physicians drive higher spending for physician services compared to other countries

Miriam J. Laugesen, Sharon Glied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Higher health care prices in the United States are a key reason that the nation's health spending is so much higher than that of other countries. Our study compared physicians' fees paid by public and private payers for primary care office visits and hip replacements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compared physicians' incomes net of practice expenses, differences in financing the cost of medical education, and the relative contribution of payments per physician and of physician supply in the countries' national spending on physician services. Public and private payers paid somewhat higher fees to US primary care physicians for office visits (27 percent more for public, 70 percent more for private) and much higher fees to orthopedic physicians for hip replacements (70 percent more for public, 120 percent more for private) than public and private payers paid these physicians' counterparts in other countries. US primary care and orthopedic physicians also earned higher incomes ($186,582 and $442,450, respectively) than their foreign counterparts. We conclude that the higher fees, rather than factors such as higher practice costs, volume of services, or tuition expenses, were the main drivers of higher US spending, particularly in orthopedics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1656
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Fingerprint

Fees and Charges
Physicians
Orthopedics
Office Visits
Primary Care Physicians
Hip
Costs and Cost Analysis
Physicians' Offices
Medical Education
France
Canada
Germany
Primary Health Care
Delivery of Health Care
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Cite this

Higher fees paid to US physicians drive higher spending for physician services compared to other countries. / Laugesen, Miriam J.; Glied, Sharon.

In: Health Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 9, 09.2011, p. 1647-1656.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d5551872b0604af3a06a40e701ac5ae7,
title = "Higher fees paid to US physicians drive higher spending for physician services compared to other countries",
abstract = "Higher health care prices in the United States are a key reason that the nation's health spending is so much higher than that of other countries. Our study compared physicians' fees paid by public and private payers for primary care office visits and hip replacements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compared physicians' incomes net of practice expenses, differences in financing the cost of medical education, and the relative contribution of payments per physician and of physician supply in the countries' national spending on physician services. Public and private payers paid somewhat higher fees to US primary care physicians for office visits (27 percent more for public, 70 percent more for private) and much higher fees to orthopedic physicians for hip replacements (70 percent more for public, 120 percent more for private) than public and private payers paid these physicians' counterparts in other countries. US primary care and orthopedic physicians also earned higher incomes ($186,582 and $442,450, respectively) than their foreign counterparts. We conclude that the higher fees, rather than factors such as higher practice costs, volume of services, or tuition expenses, were the main drivers of higher US spending, particularly in orthopedics.",
author = "Laugesen, {Miriam J.} and Sharon Glied",
year = "2011",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0204",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "1647--1656",
journal = "Health Affairs",
issn = "0278-2715",
publisher = "Project Hope",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Higher fees paid to US physicians drive higher spending for physician services compared to other countries

AU - Laugesen, Miriam J.

AU - Glied, Sharon

PY - 2011/9

Y1 - 2011/9

N2 - Higher health care prices in the United States are a key reason that the nation's health spending is so much higher than that of other countries. Our study compared physicians' fees paid by public and private payers for primary care office visits and hip replacements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compared physicians' incomes net of practice expenses, differences in financing the cost of medical education, and the relative contribution of payments per physician and of physician supply in the countries' national spending on physician services. Public and private payers paid somewhat higher fees to US primary care physicians for office visits (27 percent more for public, 70 percent more for private) and much higher fees to orthopedic physicians for hip replacements (70 percent more for public, 120 percent more for private) than public and private payers paid these physicians' counterparts in other countries. US primary care and orthopedic physicians also earned higher incomes ($186,582 and $442,450, respectively) than their foreign counterparts. We conclude that the higher fees, rather than factors such as higher practice costs, volume of services, or tuition expenses, were the main drivers of higher US spending, particularly in orthopedics.

AB - Higher health care prices in the United States are a key reason that the nation's health spending is so much higher than that of other countries. Our study compared physicians' fees paid by public and private payers for primary care office visits and hip replacements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compared physicians' incomes net of practice expenses, differences in financing the cost of medical education, and the relative contribution of payments per physician and of physician supply in the countries' national spending on physician services. Public and private payers paid somewhat higher fees to US primary care physicians for office visits (27 percent more for public, 70 percent more for private) and much higher fees to orthopedic physicians for hip replacements (70 percent more for public, 120 percent more for private) than public and private payers paid these physicians' counterparts in other countries. US primary care and orthopedic physicians also earned higher incomes ($186,582 and $442,450, respectively) than their foreign counterparts. We conclude that the higher fees, rather than factors such as higher practice costs, volume of services, or tuition expenses, were the main drivers of higher US spending, particularly in orthopedics.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82955216655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82955216655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0204

DO - 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0204

M3 - Article

C2 - 21900654

AN - SCOPUS:82955216655

VL - 30

SP - 1647

EP - 1656

JO - Health Affairs

JF - Health Affairs

SN - 0278-2715

IS - 9

ER -