Quality report: U.S. healthcare comes in dead last – again

A Commonwealth Report evaluating 11 countries’ health systems put the U.S. dead last for the fifth time since the report has been published. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, used criteria such as quality, efficiency and access to care to reach its conclusion. But it […]

A Commonwealth Report evaluating 11 countries’ health systems put the U.S. dead last for the fifth time since the report has been published. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, used criteria such as quality, efficiency and access to care to reach its conclusion. But it also expects the U.S. scores to be better next time the report is published since it has implemented the Affordable Care Act.

The UK came out on top, spending only $3,406 per person, on average, compared with $8,508 in the U.S. But for all the money the U.S. spends, the report suggests it has little to show for it.

Here’s how the assessment of the U.S. healthcare ranking went:

Healthy lives: The U.S. ranked last on infant mortality and on potentially preventable deaths with timely access to effective health care and second-to-last on healthy life expectancy at 60.

Access to care: The challenge facing U.S. residents to pay for healthcare is higher than the 10 other countries included in the report. More than one-third of U.S. adults have said they skipped a recommended test, a treatment or follow-up care because of cost.

Healthcare quality: The U.S did a bit better on quality of care rankings, and scored in the middle. It scored third on effective care and fourth on patient-centered care. It did not do nearly as well on providing safe or coordinated care.

Efficiency: The bureaucratic red tape associated with insurance administration dragged the U.S. to the bottom of the ranks. About 40 percent of U.S. adults who had visited an emergency room could have been treated by a regular doctor, if one had been available, the report said.

Karen Davis, of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was the lead author of the report. It has previously been published in  2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010. Four countries were added to the list this year, including Sweden, Switzerland, France and Norway.

Here’s a complete list of the rankings:

1. UK

2. Switzerland

3. Sweden

4. Australia

5. Germany (tied)

6. The Netherlands (tied)

7. New Zealand (tied)

8. Norway (tied)

9. France (tied)

10. Canada

11. U.S.