America Spends More For Mediocre Health Care Than All Other Nations
October 03, 2006
A new study, the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, shows that the U.S. health care system is fragmented, wasteful and in some cases dangerous, and is particularly poor at serving the very young and the very old.
Despite the fact that the United States spends more on health care than any other country, it has the highest infant mortality rate among nearly two dozen industrialized nations, and the lowest life expectancy after 60.
The study, released by the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, assigned scores to 37 indicators of health outcomes, quality, access, equity and efficiency. On average, the United States scored 66 out of a possible 100.
Improvements in the health care system could lead to 150,000 lives and $100 billion saved annually. Currently, one-third of patients report a medical, medication or lab test mistake, and a quarter of U.S. adults have had to wait at least six days to receive care when they needed medical attention.