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

at significant progress occurs in the future."

Additional highlights from the scorecard report include:

  • Rates for basic preventive care failed to improve. Currently, only half of all adults receive the recommended preventive health care, including screening for cancer.

  • Health insurance premiums rose far faster than wages, rising as a share of median incomes. Yet, insurance protection eroded. By 2007, 41 percent of adults reported that they had medical debt or trouble paying medical bills, up from 34 percent in 2005.

  • Readmissions to hospitals within 30 days remained high and variable across the country, with readmissions in high rate regions 50 percent higher than in the lowest rate regions. Hospital admission and readmission rates increased for frail patients in nursing homes.

  • Although U.S. primary care doctors' use of electronic medical records increased from 17 percent to 28 percent from 2001 to 2006, the U.S. lags far behind leading countries where 98 percent of doctors have electronic records, often with advanced system capacity to support doctors and patients.

  • Wide disparities in health care remain pervasive. Minority, low-income, or uninsured adults and children were generally much more likely than their white, higher-income, insured counterparts to wait to see a doctor when sick, to encounter delays and poorly coordinated care, and to have untreated dental caries, uncontrolled chronic disease, avoidable hospitalizations, and worse outcomes.

"It will take serious public engagement and bold action in 2009 to give Americans the health care system they deserve," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "We need to change direction and come together to support policies that aim to improve access, quality, and efficiency. With the upcoming elections, there is a window of opportunity to transform our health system to one that gives everyone the chance to live longer, he
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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