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The Health systems of Canada & the USA. Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau, Ph.D. Management, Policy, and Community Health UT Houston - School of Public Health [email protected] For: Passport to Canada Program Center Oklahoma University Monday, October 4, 2010. OVERVIEW .

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The Health systems of Canada & the USA

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The health systems of canada the usa l.jpg

The Health systems of Canada & the USA

Pauline Vaillancourt Rosenau, Ph.D.

Management, Policy, and Community Health

UT Houston - School of Public Health

[email protected]

For:

Passport to Canada Program

Center Oklahoma University

Monday, October 4, 2010


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OVERVIEW

  • Why I study the Canadian health system

  • Describe the Canadian health system and clear up some myths

  • Compare the two countries on

  • Costs

  • How patients experience it

  • How hospitals and doctors experience it

  • Judging Canada and the USA on performance

  • Strengths and Weakness of each

  • Try to figure out why


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“U.S. Newspaper Coverage of the Canadian Health System: A Case of Seriously Mistaken Identity” Amer. Rev. of Canadian Studies – Spring 2006, pp 27-58

  • Objective: This study assesses the fairness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of U.S. newspaper coverage of the Canadian health system in two of the most influential newspapers published in the U.S.

  • Methods: Quantitative methods, interpretative assessments, and thematic analyses are employed to evaluate coverage of the Canadian health system in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal between 2000 and 2005


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U.S. Newspaper Coverage …2

  • Findings: U.S. newspaper reporting on the topic of the Canadian health system is found to be poor. Points of misinformation are indicated, misrepresentations are specified, and inadequate explanations are denoted.

  • Overall, ongoing themesand controversial issues regarding the Canadian health system receive almost as much notice in U.S. newspapers as actual news events.

  • Anecdotalinformation plays nearly as great a role in coverage as facts and evidence.

  • U.S. newspaper reports about the Canadian health system are found to be oversimplified.

  • Information, all too often, is presented out of context and sources are not always sufficiently identified.

  • Coverage is incomplete: all provinces are underrepresented in the U.S. newspapers studied, except Ontario.

  • Some articles are confused and a few were found to contain errors.

  • Conclusions: These inadequacies in newspaper coverage mean that the U.S. public is sadly misinformed with regard to the Canadian health system.


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The Five Pillars of the “Canada Health Act”

Public administration

Comprehensiveness

Portability

Universality

Accessibility


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Living and Working in the Canadian System

  • With few exceptions, Canadians NEVER worry about incurring health care expenses.

  • Nor do Canadians have to submit claims to insurers.

  • Providers have ONE payer to submit claims to: the provincial government.

  • Canadian system is largely funded by general tax revenue - 25-50% federal.


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The Canadian Health System:True or False?

  • Canada is “single payer” system?

    • False: it is 10 payer provincial health systems with “portability”

  • Each province is like one big HMO: True

  • The Canadian health system is “socialist”:

    • False, most providers do not work for the government but are rather paid by a piece rate system and hospitals are not owned by the government


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The Canadian Health System:True or False?

  • The Canadian government controls the health system top – down

    • False: federal – provincial authorities negotiate the basics ; for example privatization

  • In Canada the bureaucracy wastes precious health care resources?

    • False:

    • The % of $ used for administration is much lower in Canada than in the USA

    • Billing is straightforward and electronic with 95% of requested reimbursements completed.


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The Canadian Health System:True or False?

  • In Canada the government controls prices?

    • False: The government sets a budget, the doctors set the payment rates in most provinces

  • Canadians ration care by age, need, and SES

    • False: there are no policies that restrict care on the basis of age, need, or socioeconomic status. Such discrimination is illegal

  • Canada allows euthanasia.

    • False: Some US states have laws permitting euthanasia but none of the provinces in Canada do.


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USA Costs Way More than other Countries


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Health expenditure per capita varies widely across OECD countries.

The United States spends almost two-and-a-half times the OECD Average

2007

1. Health expenditure is for the insured population rather than resident population.

2. Current health expenditure.

Source: OECD Health Data 2009, OECD (http://www.oecd.org/health/healthdata).


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey: Adults’ Health Experiences in seven Countries, 2007 – for methodology


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey: Adults’ Health Experiences in seven Countries, 2007 – for methodology


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Why is Does the US Health System Cost so Much?

  • Administration accounted for the largest share of this difference (39%),

  • Payments to MDs and hospitals accounted for (31%) of the next most important variables explaining difference

  • More intensive provision of medical services accounted for the was the third most important variable in explaining the difference (14%).

  • Research by professors from Harvard and Un. Of California in summer 2010; Inquiry


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Pozen and Cutler. Inquiry. 2010 Summer;47(2):124-34


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How Medicine Is Practiced in Canada and the USA: From the Patient’s point of view – about the same


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, 2006– for methodology


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, 2006– for methodology


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, 2006– for methodology


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, 2006– for methodology


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How do Doctors And Hospitals Get Paid in Canada and the USA


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Payments in Canada

  • Fee for service for most primary care and specialists - bills sent to the province

  • Extra-billing of patient is NOT permitted

  • No individual bills are prepared for patients

  • Hospitals (largely private nonprofit) are paid on global budget system with funds sent by the province; some regional health authorities obtain population-based funding (west) (HiT 2004)

  • Payment for pharmaceuticals varies by province and formularies are set up at the provincial level

  • What Canadian doctors are paid for treatments and procedures: ex. Gynecologist paid $45 for visit in B.C.

  • http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoprac/physbilling/payschedule/index.html

  • http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoprac/physbilling/payschedule/pdf/26.%20obstetrics_gynecology.pdf


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How Doctors Bill in Canada

  • Billing is straightforward but lots of variation across provinces as each takes care of its on billing

  • Doctor must be registered as a practitioner in the province

  • Doctor must have a billing number – and not automatic

  • Doctor must be eligible and qualified to bill for the specific code indicated: ex. neurologist won’t be paid for doing an appendectomy.

  • The amount billed must be for the amount allowed by the fee schedule (Medical Services Plan)


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How Doctors Bill in Canada (Cont..)

  • Bills are submitted electronically on forms online through the web or via a direct connection to the MSP office – daily or weekly- and 98% reimbursed

  • The provincial payer organization sends payment twice monthly directly to the MD and pay interest on reimbursements that are delayed more than 30 days.

  • Ease of billing is a big plus in Canada and doctors who have billed in both Texas and Canada are in agreement on this : “One insurer, one fee schedule, rarely any question of eligibility and no incentive to withhold payment – its heaven compared to the US”.


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Outcomes in the Canadian Health System ; Canada Doesn’t do too badly…


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Overview: Americans and Canadians on Access and health Outcomes

  • Very poor Americans are in poorer health than their Canadian counterparts

  • Wealthy Americans and Canadians – equally healthy

  • Little difference between insured Americans and Canadians as a whole -- on access to health care and health status

  • Americans without health insurance are – different, with low access to health care and more “unmet health care needs”

  • Alexis Pozen, David M. Cutler (2010) Medical Spending Differences in the United States and Canada: The Role of Prices, Procedures, and Administrative Expenses. Inquiry: Summer 2010, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 124-134.


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But there are wide variations on Health Lifestyles

Reference: Krueger, Bhaloo, & Rosenau; “Health Lifestyles in the U.S. and Canada: Are We Really So Different? “Forthcoming Social Science Quarterly, December 2009


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Comparison of U.S. and Canada: Outcomes

http://www.globalhealthfacts.org


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The BEST Outcomes Measure

See slide : Measuring The Health of Nations: Mortality Amenable to Health Care, 2008– for methodology


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Specific Outcomes - Mortality Rates

  • Seven diseases favored Canada

    • Colorectal cancer

    • Childhood leukemia

    • Kidney transplants

    • Liver transplants

  • One disease favors the U.S.

    • Breast cancer

Hussey, P. et al, “How Does the Quality of Care Compare in Five Countries?” Health Affairs 23(3) May/June 2004


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Specific Outcomes- Mortality Rates

  • Overall RR of mortality 0.95 in favor of Canada (CI 0.92 to 0.98)

  • Results quite heterogeneous

  • No explanation for heterogeneity

Guyatt, G. et al, “A Systematic Review of Studies Comparing Health Outcomes in Canada and the United States”, Open Medicine 2007;1(1):E27-36


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Wait Times

  • Historically this has been the Achilles heel of the Canadian system

    • Result of budget cuts 1990’s

    • Today the situation is much improved

  • But the U.S. also has a “waiting times” problem, but for different reasons

  • In the US we wait because of cost…..

  • In Canada patients because of scarcity


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey: Adults’ Health Experiences in seven Countries, 2007 – for methodology


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See slide : Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey: Adults’ Health Experiences in seven Countries, 2007 – for methodology


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Summing It All Up

Strengths and Weaknesses

And figuring out why….


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Canada – Health Policy strengths

Federal leadership, with state autonomy on implementation, is a workable compromise

Access is best when it is universal

Choice is ok – one big HMO

Primary care emphasis is important

Electronic medical records are not essential


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What Canadians see as their Systems Weaknesses

Waiting lists can be overused as “supply side” control mechanisms even if the MDs are in charge.

“Costs in Canada are too high.” Really? I guess it is always relative to your perspective.

Tolerance of a private sector “safety valve” may be essential if universal access is to be preserved

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/48/41925333.pdf


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USA - Strengths

  • Quality generally high

    • Lots of evidence that “more is not always better” when it comes to healthcare

    • But many patients don’t understand this or believe it.

  • Medical technology is available…

    • if you are well insured…

    • if not insured or underinsured… ?

  • No waiting if you pay out of pocket.


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USA - Weaknesses

  • Cost - are way higher than in every other industrialized country with little to show for it.

  • Accessibility – may get better after 2014 ?

  • Administrative costs are high and this is unlikely to change after health reform is implemented.


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Why do the Two Countries differ as to Health system preference?

  • Culture – maybe but USA and Canada are converging; media, proximity, culture diffusion, geographic mobility and immigration

  • History – Yes

    • More distrust of government in US

    • More emphasis on individual liberty

  • Form of government – yes

    • Presidential system in the USA

      • Roots in the constitution

      • Designed to require incremental policy rather than comprehensive policy

    • Parliamentary system in Canada

      • Good at implementing comprehensive change quickly and efficiently

      • Responsible party model

      • Important role for party leadership


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Senator Mitch McConnell said Canadian Shona Holmes had “brain cancer” http://patientsunitednow.com/?q=search/node/enter%20keywords

"I knew in my gut that I had to see someone and could not wait five to six months," she says. So she called Mayo Clinic and got an appointment the same day.

Featured on the Mayo clinic website .http://www.mayoclinic.org/patientstories/story-339.html

  • Diagnosis: Rathke’s Cleft Cyst on pituitary gland -- a benign cyst

  • Wait time in Canada would have been three months with no copay, no deductible

  • Cost for removal at Mayo Clinic = $97,000


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Example of Media coverage in the USA

  • The Case of Shona Holmes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cahvnCBVXXU&feature=related

  • http://factcheck.org/2009/08/dying-on-a-wait-list/ same as above with Fact Check information

  • Mayo clinic charged 100,000$ - Shona’s story is no longer posted at Mayo Clinic’s website

  • Dr. Jason Huse, a pathologist at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in the USA . Factcheck.org says: “He told us something different.” "By strict definitions it’s not even a tumor," he said, but a remnant of embryological structures that eventually develop into the pituitary gland. Huse stressed that without having examined Holmes, he couldn’t know the prognosis of her RCC: "It is not out of the realm of possibility," he told us, "that this could have been impeding her hormone secretions to the extent that it was a life-threatening situation." And of course, we don’t know what Holmes’ American doctors told her. However, Huse said, RCC "is not typically a malignant lesion and it is not typically life-threatening." 


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References for learning more

  • And documentation for this lecture


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Resources for Learning more about Canada

  • Listen or View: “Does Canada's Health Care System Need Fixing? 10 August 2009” NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111721651

  • Read: Ross and Detsky “Health Care Choices and Decisions in the U.S. and Canada”; JAMA 10/28/2009 ; 2009;302(16):1803-4, http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/302/16/1803

  • Read; Sanmartin, et al “Comparing Health and Health Care Use In Canada and the United States,” Health Affairs, vol. 25, July/August 2006 “ (Abstract ) http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/25/4/1133

  • View : “Sicko” by Michael Moore; Scene Selection # 7 Only “Canada!”: about 10 minutes that begins at minute= 40. See especially the Conservative party member (golfer interview) at Minute 48 http://freedocumentaries.org/teatro.php?filmID=133&lan=undefined&size=undefined

  • Listen: Audio Interview and Review of “Sicko” by Jonathan Oberlander – University of North Carolina; for ‘NPR’s program, Fresh Air” 2007. only the first 15 minutes are relevant - about Sicko’s presentation of Canada http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11826524


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Methodology: Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey: Adults’ Health Experiences in seven Countries, 2007

  • Survey of comparing Adults’ health care experiences in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Method:

    • Interviews with representative sample of adults, Age >17years, 2,500 in the United States and 3,000 in Canada. Funded by the Commonwealth Fund, partnered with the Health Council of Canada to expand Canadian Sample.

    • Interviews conducted by telephone between 6 March and 7 May 2007 by Harris Interactive and Country affiliates

    • Conducted in different languages; French and English for Canada while Spanish and English in US

    • The margin of sample error for country averages is approximately + 2 percent for the US and Canada and + 3 percent for other five countries, at 95% confidence interval.

    • Peer Reviewed Publication Citation: Schoen, C., Osborn, R., Doty, MM., et al. Toward Higher-Performance Health Systems: Adults’ Health Care Experience in Seven Countries, 2007. Health Affairs (2007) 26(6) w717-w734


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Methodology: Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians, 2006

  • Countries involved are Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States

  • Methods:

    • The survey consists of interviews with representative samples of primary care physicians in seven countries using common questionnaire.

    • Harris Interactive; country affiliates and in the Netherlands, the Center for Quality of Care Research, Radbound University Nijmegen, conducted interviews by mail and telephone from late February through July 2006

    • Survey was conducted in English in the US and Canada.

    • The margin of sample error ranges from +3 percent to +5 percent, at 95 percent confidence interval.

    • Peer Reviewed Publication Citation: Schoen, C., Osborn, R., Huynh, P.T., et al. On the Front Lines of Care: Primary Care Doctors’ Office Systems, Experiences and Views in Seven Countries. Health Affairs 25 (2006) w555-w571


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Methodology: Specific Outcomes-Mortality Rates

  • Joint US, Canadian authors from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

  • Meta-analysis of outcome studies

  • 38 studies meeting most criteria for high quality (only one missed criteria allowed)

  • Publish or unpublished prospective or retrospective observational studies comparing health outcomes data for patients with any age with same diagnosis in US and Canada

  • Sources included: EMBASE (1980-Feb 2003), MEDLINE (1966- Feb 2003), healthSTAR (1975-Feb 2003), EBM (2003) and dissertation abstracts ondisc (1969- Feb 2003).

  • Results were pooled using a random-effects model

  • Cochrane’s Q-test was assessed to check heterogeneity and relative risk was used as a summary statistics

Guyatt, G. et al, “A Systematic Review of Studies Comparing Health Outcomes in Canada and the United States”, Open Medicine 2007;1(1):E27-36


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Methodology: Measuring The Health of Nations: Mortality Amenable to Health Care, 2008

  • Comparison of trends in deaths considered amenable to healthcare in the US, Canada and in 17 other industrialized countries.

  • Data and Analysis:

    • Mortality and population data extracted from WHO files

    • Data include deaths coded according to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 by sex and five-year age band. The general Age limit was set at 75 years.

    • The causes of death considered are bacterial infection, diabetes, CVD, treatable cancers, cerebrovascular disease and complications of common surgical procedures.

    • Age-standardized death rates (SDRs) per 100,000 population by sex was calculated for years 1998 and 2003.

    • Peer Reviewed Publication Citation: Nolte, E., & McKee, C. M. (2008). Measuring the Health Of Nations: Updating An Earlier Analysis. Health Affairs, 27(1), 58-71

      • Previous Publication Citation: Nolte, E., & McKee, C.M. (2003). Measuring The Health Of Nations: Analysis Of Mortality Amenable To Health Care. BM, 327, 1129-34


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Chen, Duanjie, and Jack M. Mintz. 2009. “The Path to Prosperity: International Competitive Rates and a Level Playing

Field.” C.D. Howe Institute Commentary. No. 295. Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute. September


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