Monday, March 25, 2019

US health care ranks last among the 11 developed nations

The Commonwealth Fund's evaluation report noted that "a drastic change in course" is needed to compete with similar nations.

Image Credit: XiXinXing/Getty Images

How bad is the United State’s health care system? An evaluation by the Commonwealth Fund conducted in 2017 ranked the U.S. last among the 11 developed nation’s it analyzed.

In an evaluation that is conducted every three years – the last being in 2014 – Commonwealth Fund analyzed care process, access, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Commonwealth Fun studies “72 indicators within those fields,” Newsweek reported.

The report concluded that the U.S. ranked last or close to there in access, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes. It was also determined that the U.S. spends the most money on health care.

The U.S. ranks last in health care among the 11 nations evaluated by the Commonwealth Fund. Image Credit: Commonwealth Fund

“To gain more than incremental improvement,..the U.S. may need to pursue different approaches to organizing and financing the delivery system,” the report said. “These could include strengthening primary care, supporting organizations that excel at care coordination and moving away from fee-for-service payment to other types of purchasing that create incentives to better coordinate care. These steps should ensure early diagnosis and treatment, improve the affordability of care, and ultimately improve the health of all Americans.”

While the U.S. spends the most money on health care, it ranked the lowest in access equity and health care outcomes. The Hill reported that “nearly half of low-income Americans, 44 percent, were found to have trouble getting access to healthcare coverage, while just 26 percent of high-income Americans were found to have issues getting coverage.”

“Disparities in access to services signal the need to expand insurance to cover the uninsured and to ensure that all Americans have an accessible medical home,” the report said.

One field the U.S. ranked higher in was care process, where the nation came in fifth for prevention, safe care, coordination and patient engagement.

Compared to the other developed nations, the U.S. is the only nation not to have universal health care. The Commonwealth Fund’s evaluation report noted that this has an effect on the overall ranking of the U.S.’ health care system and “a drastic change in course” is needed to compete with similar nations, Newsweek reported.

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