U.S. Health System Ranks Last Among 11 Countries on Measures of Access, Equity, Quality, Efficiency, and Healthy Lives

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<p>The United States pays the most for health care among all developed nations, but does not get an adequate return on its investment. The fifth edition of The Commonwealth Fund's <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror-wall-2014-update-how-us-health-care-system"><em>Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally,</em></a> finds that the U.S. ranks last overall on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity, and healthy lives, compared with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Sweden Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. </p><p>The United States' ranking is dragged down substantially by deficiencies in access to primary care and inequities and inefficiencies in our health care system. Fortunately, the report notes, the Affordable Care Act is extending health insurance to millions in the U.S. and can help the country make headway in other critical areas. "Now that millions more Americans have good coverage, we have to invest in our health care delivery system to be sure all patients—and especially those with the greatest need and whose care is the most costly—can get the high-quality, well-coordinated health care they need," said David Blumenthal, M.D, The Commonwealth Fund’s president. </p>
<p>The report is authored by Karen Davis, of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Kristof Stremikis, of the Pacific Business Group on Health, and Commonwealth Fund researchers Cathy Schoen and David Squires.</p>
<p><a href="/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror-wall-2014-update-how-us-health-care-system">Visit The Commonwealth Fund to read the full report.</a></p>