Study: U.S. healthcare better, still fails

Oct. 21, 2011 at 12:02 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Even though U.S. healthcare has improved in some areas, the country is failing to match the improvement made in other countries, a non-profit group says.

The third national scorecard report from the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System in New York found 50 percent of U.S. adults with high blood pressure had it under control in 2007/2008, compared with 31 percent in 1999/2000.

In addition, hospital quality indicators for treatment of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and prevention of surgical complications, have improved substantially since hospitals began publicly reporting this quality data via a federal Web site, the report said.

However, the United States ranks last out of 16 countries when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by timely and effective medical care.

"This scorecard illustrates that focused efforts to change the healthcare system for the better are working and are worth our investment," Maureen Bisognano, president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a Commonwealth Fund Board and Commission member, said in a statement. "Yet, the United States still spends up to twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, but too often fails to deliver what people need -- timely access to high quality, efficient healthcare."

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