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Second national scorecard on US health care system finds no overall improvement
Date:7/16/2008

New York, NY, July 17th, 2008A new national scorecard from The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System finds that the U.S. health care system has failed to improve overall and that scores on access have declined significantly since the first national scorecard in 2006. Despite spending more on health care than any other industrialized nation, the U.S. overall continues to fall far short on key indicators of health outcomes and quality, with particularly low scores on efficiency.

In the report, Why Not The Best? Results From The National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008, the U.S. scored an average of 65 out of a possible 100 across 37 key indicators of health outcomes, quality, access, efficiency, and equityslightly below the overall score in the 2006 scorecard. The scores compare U.S. average performance to rates achieved by top performers within the U.S. or internationally.

Even more troubling, the health system is on the wrong track when it comes to access and affordability. The number of uninsured and underinsured continues to rise. As of 2007, 42 percent of all working age adults were either uninsured or underinsuredup from 35 percent in the four years since 2003.

The U.S. also failed to keep up with improvements made in other countries, falling from 15th to last among 19 industrialized nations when it comes to premature deaths that could potentially have been prevented by timely access to effective health care. Comparing U.S. average national performance to benchmarks of achieved performance, the scorecard shows that the U.S. health care system could save 100,000 lives and up to $100 billion annually if it improved performance on key indicators.

"The scorecard tells us that we are losing ground in crucial areas like access to health care," said lead researcher and Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen. "We now have 75 million Americans who are uninsur
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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