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New USD Study Finds "Concerning Differences" in Healthcare Between Germany's Black Forest and the Black Hills

Oct 27, 2017 04:31PM ● By The Hood Magazine

By:  MED Staff

 Dr. Carole South-Winter, Assistant Professor in USD’s Beacom School of Business and Kimberly Cleveland, MBA in Health Services Administration, Beacom School of Business recently completed a comparative research study including 235 Germans and 219 Americans. 

Students who participated in a faculty-led program to study healthcare in German surveyed residents on their perceptions of healthcare. Specifically, participants were asked to rate the quality of healthcare in their community, how easy it is to access, and how the cost compares to the value for patients. A similar survey was also conducted in a similar town in the Midwestern US.

“German respondents consistently scored their health care system much higher than American participants in these categories,” write South-Winter and Cleveland. “These differences may be attributed to fundamental political platform differences and most recent economic factors.”

Germans, says the report, tend to embrace socialistic views of both healthcare and education, while many Americans are seeing their costs increase even as their employer-based health care coverage decreases. In addition, while most Germans, even in more remote locales, can readily access healthcare thanks to efficient public transportation, the challenges can be greater for American patients, especially in rural communities where both transportation and services are often lacking.

Finally, at least some of the difficulties that American patients face are attributed to a lack of understanding of the complex US healthcare system. “Some argue this is a result of corporation’s profit margin mentality or the result of the American capitalistic political platform,” states the report.

The study concludes that the significantly differences between otherwise similar towns (many citizens of which are descendants of common ancestors in the Black Forest and the Black Hills) suggests that the US system might “glean insight” from Germany’s system. The study, entitled “Health Care Cost, Quality, and Access Comparison of Germany and United States: Two University Cities” is currently in the journal submission process.

Click here to read the full study.

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