A casual reader of The New York Times article by Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz, "The Experts Were Wrong about the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care," would be forgiven if they missed this critical point. By focusing only on total spending—price times quantity—they give the impression that Medicare data tells us nothing about private insurance markets. Not so.
Among patients older than 65 years who died with cancer in 7 developed countries in 2010, end-of-life care was more hospital-centric in Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, and Norway than in the Netherlands or the United States. Hospital expenditures near the end of life were higher in the United States, Norway, and Canada, intermediate in Germany and Belgium, and lower in the Netherlands and England. However, intensive care unit admissions were more than twice as common in the United States as in other countries.
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The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care is based at The Dartmouth Institute for Health
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