HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA….The Commonwealth Fund has released its latest comparison of healthcare performance among various countries, and you can read all about it here. However, since I know you’re all busy people, I’ll just cut to the chase: we suck. Despite the fact that we see doctors less often, go to the hospital less often, and stay in the hospital for shorter times than any of the other countries in the report, we still spend by far the most money. In return for this we get lousier care. As the summary chart below shows, we score last or close to last on five out of five measures — though we do manage to eke out a first place finish in one subcategory. Go team!
If you want a quick and dirty look at the data, download the chartpack and page through the charts. My favorites are 21, 28, 50, and 56. There are a few areas where the United States does well (preventive care, for example), but for the most part we’re either average or below average. And when it comes to various sorts of preventible medical errors, we’re absolutely terrible. It almost makes you want to just stay home the next time you feel a pain in your chest.