U.S. Not Getting Good Value for Its Health Care Investment

By Johnson, Teddi Dineley | The Nation's Health, November 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

U.S. Not Getting Good Value for Its Health Care Investment

Johnson, Teddi Dineley, The Nation's Health

DESPITE health care expenditures that are the highest in the world, the United States lags behind other countries in virtually every measure of health care and is not getting good value for its investment, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund in New York City.

The report, the first to offer comparisons within the United States by state and region in addition to international comparisions, scores the nation's performance against benchmarks of high performance achieved either within the United States or by other countries. As of early October, the Commonwealth Fund was preparing to release results of comparisons within the United States.

The report, "Why Not the Best? Results from a National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance," gave the U.S. health care system low grades compared to other industrialized nations--a score of 66 out of a possible 100--across 37 indicators of health outcomes, quality, access, efficiency and equity.

By improving its performance in key areas, the nation could save as many as 150,000 lives and up to $100 billion annually, the report said.

"The fact is that the United States spends 16 percent of its gross domestic product on health care," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis, PhD, at a news conference releasing the report Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C. "That's more than twice the average of industrialized nations, but as several studies have shown over the past several years, and as our ever-growing uninsured rates underscore, we are not getting good value for that investment."

Among the report's findings:

* Only half of U.S. adults, 49 percent, received preventive and screening tests according to national guidelines for their age and sex.

* Only 17 percent of U.S. doctors used electronic medical records, compared with 90 percent in Sweden, 88 percent in the Netherlands and 62 percent in Denmark.

* On average, uninsured rates among low-income people would need to improve by one-third to close the gap with highincome insured populations.

* Mortality, quality, access to care and efficiency must improve by at least 24 percent for U.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

U.S. Not Getting Good Value for Its Health Care Investment


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?