A new approach to the comparative analysis of health systems: invasive treatment for heart disease in the US, France, and their two world cities
Cross-national comparisons that assess dimensions of health system performance indicate that the US provides higher rates of revascularization procedures than France and other developed nations, but we believe these findings are misleading. In this paper, we compare the use of these procedures in the US, France and their two world cities, Manhattan and Paris. In doing so, we address a number of limitations associated with existing cross-national comparisons of heart disease treatment. After adjusting for the prevalence of disease in these nations and cities, we found that residents of France aged 45–64 years receive more revascularization procedures than residents of the US and that Parisians receive more revascularizations than residents of Manhattan. Older residents 65 years and over (65+) in the US receive more of these procedures than their French counterparts, but the differences are not nearly as great as previous studies suggest. Moreover, our data on Manhattan and Paris where the population and level of health resources are more comparable, indicate that older Parisians obtain more revascularization procedures than older Manhattanites. Finally, we found that the use of revascularization procedures is significantly lower in Manhattan among persons without private health insurance and among racial and ethnic minorities.