U.S. health care gets poor grade

Commonwealth Fund releases negative report of U.S. health-care system

The U.S. health-care system received a low overall grade in a report released by the Commonwealth Fund on Oct. 18.

The report gave the U.S. a score of 64 out of 100 based on 42 indicators of quality, access, efficiency equity and healthy lives, according to media sources. The score was produced by comparing national averages to high-performing areas in the U.S. and other countries, using data collected from 2007 to 2009.

The report found that about 33 percent of children ages 10 to 17 were overweight, about 40 percent of working-age adults had trouble paying medical bills or medical debt, 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries had a prescription for a “potentially inappropriate drug” and the national infant-mortality rate was about 35 percent higher than in top-performing countries.

The report also noted several areas of improvement, including reduced smoking rates and improved management of high blood pressure.