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Commonwealth Fund: U.S. Health System Fraught With Waste and Inefficiency

Despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country, the U.S. health system is fraught with waste and inefficiency, according to a new chartbook released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. The chartbook, discussed at a Capitol Hill briefing sponsored by the Fund and the Alliance for Health Reform, paints a stark picture of a fragmented system beset by widespread disparities in access to and quality of care.

A Need to Transform the U.S. Health Care System: Improving Access, Quality, and Efficiency also points to promising opportunities for reforming the health system. These include management of high-cost care, enhancements in care coordination, disease management, and developing networks of high performing providers under Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. The Commission on a High Performance Health System will be exploring such opportunities as part of its mission to move the nation toward a health care system providing better access, quality, and efficiency.

Commission chair James J. Mongan, M.D., president and CEO of Partners HealthCare, in his remarks at the Alliance briefing, noted that "the disconnect between people wanting the new things that medical science can produce, yet not being sure that they are willing or able to pay for them." In his presentation, A Tale of Two Health Systems Mongan said this disconnect "will lead to more of a focus on the value equation in health care, and to more of a focus on a high-performing health system."

The commission's goals are outlined in an essay by Fund president Karen Davis, Ph.D., Toward a High Performance Health System: New Commonwealth Fund Commission, which was published last month in Health Affairs.

A webcast of the commission event, provided by kaisernetwork.org, will be available Tuesday, October 4, on the Alliance for Health Reform Web site.

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Posted by: Duncan Kinder on Oct 04, 05 | 10:51 am | Profile


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