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AboutHealthTransparency.org

Report finds US has most costly health system, underperforms on most dimensions of performance compared with other nations

A report released on Tuesday (5/15) by the Commonweath Fund, finds that despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. This report — an update to two earlier editions—includes data from surveys of patients, as well as information from primary care physicians about their medical practices and views of their countries' health systems. Compared with five other nations — Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom — the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. The U.S. is the only country in the study without universal health insurance coverage, partly accounting for its poor performance on access, equity, and health outcomes. The inclusion of physician survey data also shows the U.S. lagging in adoption of information technology and use of nurses to improve care coordination for the chronically ill.