Uninsured problem lowers U.S. health system's performance score

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted Aug. 18, 2008

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2006 2008
Healthy lives 75 72
Quality 72 71
Access 67 58
Efficiency 52 53
Equity 70 71
Overall score 67 65

A new report grading how the American health care system delivers on a range of dimensions, from cost to quality, finds that matters are getting worse.

The verdict comes from the Commonwealth Fund, a New York City-based health care research organization. In 2006, the group reported that on a scale of zero to 100, the health system earned a 67 because of high costs, health disparities and inappropriate care. The 2008 grade dropped slightly, driven in large part by a 16% increase in the number of working-age adults who are uninsured or underinsured. Here is a breakdown of 2006 and 2008 grades in areas such as healthy lives (infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.) and equity (racial and ethnic health disparities).

Source: "Why Not the Best? Results From the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008," Commonwealth Fund, July 17 (link)

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