National Health Policy, Education, and Research Group
Home Page About Us Contact US Home Page About Us Contact Us Home Page About Us Contact Us





Quality of Health Care


The United States lags behind other countries in factors like infant mortality and life expectancy. In addition, studies show that adults without insurance coverage are more likely to die than those with adequate coverage.

Even when we look at the ranking of health conditions on which the United States spends the most money we find find very different rankings based on the disability they cause. There is a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon, between the quality of care that that U.S. residents should receive and the quality of care that most actually do receive. The same problems that were occurring at the time of the rise of managed health care are still with us - over treatment, under treatment and medical errors.

The top U.S. health care is among the best in the world, but the average quality of care is mediocre. There is a major gap between best practices and the actual care that is delivered. One recent study by the Rand Corporation of thirty types of preventive, acute and chronic care in twelve metropolitan areas found U.S. residents receive on average around 55 percent of the care that is suggested by established medical standards. Under treatment can be both quality problems and the rationing of health care.

The persistent levels of unacceptable rates of medical errors continues to be a cause of great concern. Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States. Errors with critical consequences occur in diagnosis as well as treatment. Errors in diagnosis or negligence account for between 30 to 40 percent of U.S. malpractice payments rationing of health care.

It comes as no surprise that the problem of uneven treatments is most extreme for low-income and minority U.S. residents, who experience poor outcomes and premature death.




Home I About Us I Contact

Contents Copyright © 2003-2013, NHPERG
National Health Policy, Education, and Research Group
643 Moody Street, Suite 300, Waltham, MA 02453