State of Health Care in America

There is no doubt that the US has one of the best emergency care and sickness care systems in the world. However, I often hear individuals claiming that we have the best “health care” in the world. Is it time to take a serious look at how “health” care is being administered in our country? Please read the research below and you decide.

“...the benefits that US health care currently deliver may not outweigh the aggregate health harm it imparts.” “However, higher-intensity care generally does not improve survival, and complications of medical care accounted for 1.1 million hospitalizations in 2006—costing nearly $42 billion.”

-Kilo, CM and Larson, EB. “Exploring the Harmful Effects of Health Care.” J American Medical Assoc (JAMA). 2009;302(1):89-91.

“Research has documented dramatic differences in health care utilization and spending across U.S. regions with similar levels of patient illness. Although patient outcomes and quality of care have been found to be no better in regions of high health care intensity...”

-Sirovich BE, Gottlieb DJ, Welch HG, Fisher ES. “Regional variations in health care intensity and physician perceptions of quality of care.” Ann Intern Med. 2006 May 2;144(9):641-9.

“Spine surgery rates in the UK are about one-fifth of the US rate...and epidemiologic studies suggest that rates of back pain are similar among geographic areas.”

-Deyo RA, Mirza SK. “The case for restraint in spinal surgery: does quality management have a role to play?” Eur Spine J (2009) 18 (Suppl 3):S331–S337.

“ the year 2043 (if current trends continue) we will be forced to spend every cent of every tax dollar treating chronic illness.”

-Chestnut, JL. The Wellness and Prevention Paradigm. (2011) p173. Source cited: Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. 2009 Almanac of Chronic Disease.

“Presently, according to the American Heart Association, 1.3 million coronary angioplasty and 448,000 coronary bypass operations are performed annually at a cost of more than $100 billion. Despite these costs, many studies, including one last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal that angioplasties and stents do not prolong life or even prevent heart attacks in stable patients (ie 95 percent of those who receive them).”

-Hyman MA, Ornish D, Roizen M. “Lifestyle medicine: treating the causes of disease.” Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2009 Nov-Dec;15(6):12-4.

“Pharmacologic therapy is provided for children in almost 70% of ambulatory care encounters. During the 11-year study period the mean annual number of ADE (adverse drug event)-related visits was 585,922... The highest proportion of visits was by children 0 to 4 years old who accounted for 43.2%”

-Bourgeois, FT et al. “Pediatric Adverse Drug Events in the Outpatient Setting: An 11-Year National Analysis.” Pediatrics 2009;124;e744-e750


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