U.S. Ranks Last Among Wealthy Nations in Preventable Deaths

Reports that 84,000 Lives Annually Could Be Saved if the U.S. Is Able to Lower Its Preventable Death Rate

A study just released by the Commonwealth Fund shows the United States ranking last among 16 wealthy nations in amenable mortality, i.e., deaths that could have been prevented with timely health care. The U.S. also continued to to lag behind other wealthy nations in its abilty to improve its amenable mortality rate. The study reveals that other nations lowered their preventable death rates an average of 31 percent between 1997–98 and 2006–07, while the U.S. rate declined by only 20 percent, from 120 to 96 per 100,000, more than twice that of France, which had the lowest rate—55 per 100,000.

According to Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, "Cross-national comparisons consistently find that people in the U.S. have a harder time getting and paying for the health care they need than people in other countries."

However, she says, "The good news is that Affordable Care Act reforms are targeted at specifically the areas that are responsible for this divide—costs and access to health care."

The full report on the Commonwealth Fund-sponsored study will be released in the November issue of Health Policy. A preview of the findings and a chart of the ranking can be found at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/News/News-Releases/2011/Sep/US-Ranks-Last-on-Preventable-Deaths.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheCommonwealthFund+%28The+Commonwealth+Fund%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo.

A listing of other American health care statistics can be found at http://www.accountablecarechoices.org/facts/.

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