U.S. Health System Scorecard Makes Case for Change

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<p>Results from the first-ever comprehensive scorecard for the U.S. health care system indicate the nation falls far short of what it could achieve.<br><br>Developed by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, the <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=24323&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D401577%26%23doc401577">National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance</a> assesses our nation's health care in terms of health outcomes, quality, access, equity, and efficiency, comparing national averages to benchmarks of achieved performance. Out of a possible score of 100, the U.S. averages just 66 across more than three dozen health system indicators.<br><br>The new findings, announced today at a briefing in Washington, D.C., are discussed in a <em>Health Affairs</em> Web Exclusive article, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=24324&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D403925%26%23doc403925">"U.S. Health System Performance: A National Scorecard,"</a> by Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen and colleagues, and in a report and accompanying materials posted today on the Commonwealth Fund Web site.<br><br>Not only does the U.S. often fare poorly when compared with other nations, but performance varies greatly across states and across hospitals and health plans. "What the Scorecard tells us is that there are many pockets of excellence in health care in this country, but overall we are performing far below our national potential," said James J. Mongan, M.D., the CEO of Partners HealthCare in Boston and chairman of the 18-member Commission.<br><br>Based on the Commission's findings, if the U.S. improved performance in key areas, it could save an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 lives and $50 billion to $100 billion annually.</p>