- In new analysis released by the Commonwealth Fund on Monday, the U.S. ranks last amongst 11 industrialized nations on healthcare quality and access — despite having the most expensive care.
- The U.K. ranked first overall, followed by Switzerland and Sweden. France and Canada hovered above the U.S. The U.S. spent $8,508 per capita on healthcare in 2011 while the U.K. spent $3,406 per person.
- According to researchers, the U.S.' ranking was hurt by a lack of access to primary care and systemic healthcare inefficiencies.
Lead author Karen Davis called the U.S.' poor ranking "disappointing but not surprising." She went on to emphasize, however, that the Affordable Care Act was not yet fully implemented during the study period, and that the real-time rankings might be slightly more favorable for the U.S.
The U.S. performed particularly poorly on the "efficient care" index — the score that considers administrative hassles for physicians and patients, unnecessary emergency room use and duplicative testing. Both the U.S. and the U.K ranked low on the "Healthy lives" index, which includes infant mortality, healthy life expectancy at age 60 and mortality from preventable conditions like high blood pressure.
More positively, the U.S. performed well on "effective care," particularly preventative efforts like appointment reminders and physician recommendations to exercise and eat healthy.