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Measuring the Performance of the US Health System

Posted by Laura McMullen on Thu, Jun 01, 2017

Healthcare spending represented 17.8% of US GDP in 2015. What are we getting for our money? The Kaiser Family Foundation and Peterson Center on Healthcare are trying to find out.

US healthcare.jpgThe newly redesigned dashboard added to the US Health System Tracker makes it easier for people to find the latest quality, spending, access, and outcome metrics describing the US health system. According to the announcement, the dashboard shows an overview of the system’s performance compared to other similar countries as well as analysis of specific indicators measuring health and wellbeing, quality of care, health spending, and access and affordability.

The Tracker first launched in 2014 as a partnership between the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis and health journalism, and Peterson Center on Healthcare, a non-profit organization that searches for innovative solutions that increase quality and reduce cost in healthcare and accelerates adoption nationwide.

The latest brief based on the Tracker data is US health system is performing better, though still lagging behind other countries. Here are some findings that focus on the cost of healthcare:

  • The uninsured rate among nonelderly Americans dropped from 18% in 2010 to 10% in 2016.
  • The percentage of adults who reported being worried about medical bills dropped 10% between 2011 and 2016.
  • The percentage of Americans who put off or didn’t seek care due to cost dropped from 13% in 2009 to 9% in 2015.
  • Health spending per capita grew 3.6% annually from 2010 to 2015.

Does higher utilization in the short run lead to healthier populations and lower long-term spending?

Tags: Healthcare, US health system, healthcare cost, uninsured




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