Reducing Preventable Deaths Through Improved Health System Performance

Research from The Commonwealth Fund and others shows that the U.S. is not reducing its rate of "mortality amenable to health care"—or potentially preventable deaths—as quickly as other industrialized nations. And some recent studies point to disturbing declines in the U.S. on a related measure, life expectancy, as well as rises in infant mortality rates. Poor performance on these measures points, in large part, to flawed preventive care—instances where the health system has failed to identify underlying conditions, such as hypertension, that can lead to potentially fatal diseases, or failed to help people with chronic disease stay as healthy as possible. For example, Fund research has found that, as of 2005, adults in the U.S. received only half of the recommended screening and preventive care for their age group.

Click here for the Commonwealth Fund report.

(SOURCE: The Commonwealth Fund e-alert , http://commonwealthfund.org , Shoenbaum, October 9, 2008)