September 25, 2006—A national scorecard, developed to evaluate factors such as health outcomes, quality, access, efficiency, and equity in a single report, is available in the current issue of Health Policy and online.

Among the scorecard’s findings: the US ranks fifteenth out of nineteen countries in terms of preventable deaths before the age of 75; only half of US adults receive government-recommended clinical screening tests and preventive care; and US patients are less likely, compared with patients in benchmark countries like Germany or the UK, to receive same- or next-day access to physicians when necessary, raising the number of emergency room visits.

The scorecard is also critical of US health insurance coverage, noting that it is the only major industrialized company not providing universal health insurance, despite the fact that US health care spending is double the median of industrialized countries.

—Cat Vasko