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

osts. This low score translates into significant costs to the health care system. For example, the scorecard finds that the U.S. could save $55 billion a year if it could lower insurance administrative costs to the average of administrative costs in other countries with mixed public-private insurance systems.

Other areas of concern include:

  • Primary care and preventive care: Forty-four percent of adults report that they didn't have an accessible primary care provider in 2008, and only half of adults received all recommended preventive carewhich is on par with what was reported in the 2006 Scorecard.
  • Childhood obesity: Childhood obesity rates are high, with about one-third (32%) of children ages 10 to 17 overweight or obese, ranging from one-quarter to 39 percent between the top and bottom five states.
  • Infant mortality: The average U.S. infant mortality rate is more than 35 percent higher than the rates achieved in the best states, and rates in even the best states are twice as high as those in other countries.
  • Safe care: One-quarter of elderly Medicare beneficiaries were prescribed a potentially inappropriate drug.
  • Rehospitalizations: Rehospitalization rates failed to improve and varied widely, with 20 percent of Medicare patients hospitalized for certain conditions or procedures readmitted within 30 days in both 2003 and 2009. Rates in the highest-rate regions were 50 percent higher than in the lowest-rate regions.

Potential for Improvement

The scorecard identifies pockets of high performance which illustrate the potential for the nation if others could learn from these high performers. Improvements would add up to significant gains in lives and dollars saved. For example, if the entire nation could do as well as the top performers:

  • Thirty-eight million more adults would have a primary care doctor and 66 million more would receive all recommended preventive care.
  • Reducing health insu
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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