U.S. health system treads water in international comparison

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 7, 2011

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The United States failed to improve its performance on how well it delivers quality, affordable care to all of its residents compared with other nations. The U.S. earned 64 of a possible 100 on the October scorecard compiled by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York City nonprofit group, showing no progress since the organization's 2010 report.

The nation did show improvement in implementing health information technology, caring for patients with chronic conditions, preventing hospitalizations and cutting smoking rates among patients. That progress was not enough to raise the overall grade on the scorecard due to more uninsured patients and higher health system costs, said the report (link).

If the U.S. were to achieve the mortality results of the world's best-performing health systems, as many as 91,000 premature deaths could be avoided annually, the report said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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