KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Factors That Should Put It Ahead Of Game, U.S. Health Ranking Is ‘An Embarrassment’

A new study finds that access to cutting-edge medical technology and well-trained doctors don't necessarily correlate to good health for a country.

The Washington Post: ‘An Embarrassment’: U.S. Health Care Far From The Top In Global Study
Americans grumble all the time about the quality of our health-care system, but when we're dealing with serious issues, such as injuries from an auto accident or cancer, we often count our blessings that we live in a wealthy country that has well-trained doctors with access to the latest medical technology. Yet those factors don't always correlate with staying alive. That's the distressing finding from a global study of what researchers call “amenable mortality,” or deaths that theoretically could have been avoided by timely and effective medical care. (Cha, 5/18)

Bloomberg: Americans Die When They Have To Work At Being Healthy 
The newly created Healthcare Access and Quality Index shows how well countries use their healthcare systems to stop preventable deaths. The inaugural version of the index finds huge disparities both between countries, and within them. Access to quality healthcare, the study shows definitively, is often the difference between life or death. For Americans, the results aren’t heartening. ... Not all diseases kill Americans with equal power, however. Despite recent skepticism about the efficacy of vaccines, diseases that they prevent — like tetanus and measles — kill significantly fewer Americans than those that require ongoing prevention and care, like hypertension and diabetes (both of which kill far fewer people in Andorra). (Shanker, 5/19)

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