We already knew that the U.S. ranks 21st in life expectancy and 23rd in infant mortality, in spite of spending more than any other industrialized nation on health care, according to OECD stats.
The Commonwealth Fund yesterday just released a report reaffirming that notion.
It’s not a surprising revelation for those of us working in health care, but hopefully, it will provide a jolt to those who insist that America has the best health care in the world.
That’s not to say the other systems (in Australia, Canada, Germany, NZ and the UK) are perfect — but they spend about half as much money — per person — being imperfect than we do.
Key findings of the report are that the U.S.:
- Is the most inefficient — costing the most while providing the least.
- Is the most inequitable, leaving low- and middle-income citizens with no health coverage.
- Does poorly on chronic disease management.
- Is behind in adopting information technology to help manage chronic illnesses and see exactly what other treatments any given patient is on before prescribing care.
- Has horrible access because it lacks universal healht coverage.
The only measure that the U.S. does well on is preventive care. But, really, what good is preventive care (discovering you have diabetes) when you can’t get your chronic disease managed?
Hopefully, such a report will help convince proud Americans who are convinced that we have the best health care in the world, that while America is great on many things — it’s not really on health care.