Why doesn’t the US have the best health care system in the world? That’s the question The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System asks in its report, “Why Not the Best? Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2011.” Excerpt:
“U.S. health system performance continues to fall far short of what is attainable, especially given the enormity of public and private resources devoted nationally to health. Across 42 performance indicators, the U.S. achieves a total score of 64 out of a possible 100, when comparing national rates with domestic and international benchmarks. Overall, the U.S. failed to improve relative to these benchmarks, which in many cases rose. Costs were up sharply, access to care deteriorated, health system efficiency remained low, disparities persisted, and health outcomes failed to keep pace with benchmarks. The Affordable Care Act targets many of the gaps identified by the Scorecard.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
Author-physician Dr. Atul Gawande has done it again with a well-written article in The New Yorker magazine entitled, “The Hot Spotters.” It deals with the fact that 5 percent of people with chronic illness make up over 50 percent of all healthcare costs.
If we can zero in on providing better preventive care for those people, we can finally get our arms around runaway healthcare costs. How great that you don’t even have to have a New Yorker subscription to read it. Here are a few cliff notes until you get to it:
— In Camden, New Jersey, one percent of patients account for one-third of the city’s medical costs. By just focusing attention on the social and medical outpatient needs of those people, they not only got healthier but costs were cut in half.
— Our current system is unable to reign in costs. We need to completely re-design and fund how we do primary care.
— Charging high co-payments to people with health problems just backfires. They avoid preventive care and end up hospitalized with expensive and life-threatening illnesses that are much worse and more costly. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Hospital rankings matter. Specifically, those published in U.S. News & World Report carry additional weight. Hospitals use these numbers in advertising campaigns, and patients often choose hospitals based on these rankings.
But does a high place really mean you’re getting better care? Not necessarily. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*