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U.S. Hospitals struggle in quality study

Sometimes you wish that the old adage “you get what you pay for” applied to everything in life. For the most part, it does. If you want to pay extra for a luxury vehicle, it will have features and overall performance that outshines an economy vehicle. The same goes for paying for first class tickets on an airplane as opposed to paying coach.

However, what you may be paying for as far as medical services may not reflect the quality of service and advice you may receive. According to a performance evaluation conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. health care system continually underperforms even though it is the most expensive in the world.

The findings were reached through an analysis of several factors, including:

Quality – including safe and coordinated care, and doctors’ abilities to identify best treatments for chronic ailments

Access – including the ability to receive quality care in lieu of financial barriers

Efficiency – Which included duplicative medical testing, administrative problems and wait times to receive care.

Equity – Which measured how many people (especially low income individuals) went without care because of high costs.

With inefficiency, high costs, and quality issues, the Commonwealth Fund found that the U.S. health care system ranked last compared to other industrialized nations, including France, Germany, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.  Given these issues, it is also reasonable to see how medical malpractice claims arise.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether changes will be made to improve ratings in American hospitals. 

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