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Commonwealth Fund: U.S. Still Last in Health System Performance Among Seven Industrialized Nations
But Health Reform May Spark Changes, Say Report's Authors
By News Staff
"It is disappointing -- but not surprising -- that despite our significant investment in health care, the U.S. continues to lag behind other countries," said Commonwealth Fund President and lead report author Karen Davis in the press release.
"With enactment of the (Patient Protection and) Affordable Care Act, however, we have entered a new era in American health care," she added. "We will begin strengthening primary care and investing in health information technology and quality improvement, ensuring that all Americans can obtain access to high-quality, efficient health care."
According to the report, the Netherlands ranked first overall, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia. The United States ranked last overall on access, healthy lives, efficiency and equity and next-to-last on quality.
Specific findings of the report show that the United States
- ranked last on all measures of cost-related access, with 54 percent of adults with chronic conditions reporting problems getting a recommended test, treatment or follow-up care because of cost;
- ranked poorly on accessibility of appointments with primary care physicians;
- ranked last in terms of infant mortality and potentially preventable deaths among those younger than age 75;
- performed poorly on measures reflecting administrative costs, use of information technology, rehospitalization rates and duplicative medical tests;
- ranked at the bottom on measures of equity, primarily because lower-income Americans with chronic conditions were more likely than those in the other six countries to report not going to the doctor when ill, not getting a test, not filling a prescription or not getting recommended follow-up care because of costs; and
- ranked next-to-last on measures of quality, largely because of low scores on chronic care management, coordination of care and use of information technology.