Apr 14 2012

The Good News in American Medicine

There are many astounding things about the US Health System

The United States is the only industrialized democracy that doesn’t provide health care for all its citizens, despite spending considerably more per person than any other country.

“It’s generally agreed,” says Dr. Elliott Fisher, of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy,” that about 30 percent of what we spend on health care is unnecessary. If we eliminate the unneeded care, there are more than enough resources in our system to cover ever.”

Some communities in America achieve excellent health outcomes at a much lower cost than others. There is massive variation from one town to the next in the treatments of the same conditions. As a result, some U.S. counties spend $17,000 per year on the average Medicare patient, while others spend less than $7,000 per year with results that are just as good.

A PBS documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News” looks at a few of these high-quality, low-cost regions of the country, to find out how they do it.

Common to the low cost communities is a focus on Primary Care and the Medical Home.

You can view the full 50 minute program at http://video.pbs.org/video/2198039605/

The work of the Dartmouth Institute is also highlighted in an article published in the New Yorker by Atul Gawande.

More is not better . The more money Medicare spent per person in a given state the lower that state’s quality ranking tended to be.

“The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care” is available at www.dartmouthatlas.org.

What I Learnt On 14th April in other years

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