Headed in the Wrong Direction: The 2008 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance

eAlert 31708b0b-55de-4c6e-a5a5-9f4202f88248

<p>Belief in economic and scientific progress is deeply ingrained in the American way of life. As residents of a "can do" nation, we strive for a better life for our children and expect that scientific breakthroughs will eventually conquer disease. That's why it is so deeply troubling to learn that health care in this country is slipping backwards.<br><br>In a <a href="/aboutus/aboutus_show.htm?doc_id=693648">new column,</a> Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis discusses findings of the latest National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, released by The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. The report demonstrates that we are, in fact, losing ground.<br><bR>The new Scorecard finds disturbing evidence that the health system is on the wrong track. In nearly every area measured, the health system fares worse than it did two years ago--scoring just 65 out of 100 across 37 performance indicators, where 100 represents not what is ideal but what has actually been achieved in some places for some groups of people.<br><Br>The scorecard results make "a compelling case for change in the way U.S. health care is financed, organized, and delivered," Davis writes, adding that "a new Presidential administration in 2009 will provide a historic opportunity to change direction."</p>