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Commonwealth Fund Commission national health care scorecard: US scores 64 out of 100
Date:10/18/2011

for improvement where the U.S. falls short, particularly in access to care, affordability of care, and support for more patient-centered, coordinated care.

"If we target areas where we fall short and learn from high-performing innovators within the United States, we should see significant progress in the future," said Commonwealth Fund Commission Chair David Blumenthal, M.D., Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and Harvard Medical School. "The Affordable Care Act and investments in information systems offer the potential for rapid progress in areas like adoption and use of health information technology, safer care, and premature deaths from preventable complications."

The scorecard finds that the U.S. is failing to keep up with gains in health outcomes made by other countries: the U.S. ranks last out of 16 countries when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by timely and effective medical care. If the U.S could do as well as the leading country, as many as 91,000 fewer people would die prematurely every year.

Quality Initiatives Showing Promise

According to the scorecard, public reporting of quality data on federal Web sites and collaborative initiatives, like the Advancing Excellence nursing home improvement campaign and Premier hospital quality initiatives, have resulted in substantial and rapid improvements on some quality indicators. For example:

  • The proportion of home health care patients who gained improved mobility grew from 37 percent to 47 percent from 2004 to 2009.
  • 96 percent of hospitals reported providing the right care to prevent surgical complications in 2009, up from 71 in 2004.

Despite these improvements, quality of care still varies widely across the country. For example, despite a 13 percent drop in hospital admissions for heart failure and pediatric asthma from 2004
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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