Why US Healthcare Lags Behind Other Developed Countries

According to a new report just released by the Commonwealth Fund, a private healthcare foundation, the US ranks last among seven developed countries in healthcare quality. Their measures skew heavily towards access where the US still fares poorly despite the new healthcare reform act. The issue of access is closely tied to equity or affordability: there are still 23 million Americans who will not have affordable healthcare despite the recent reforms. More surprising is how much higher the Netherlands, U.K. and Australia rank in patient safety and efficiency. While the US gets high marks for providing patient centered care, it still lags countries such as Germany and the Netherlands  in information technology and managing chronic conditions. Indications are that US healthcare reform will narrow some of these gaps, but the high cost of healthcare in the US will continue to affect both access and quality of care. For a closer look, you can check out the entire report at The Commonwealth Fund.