Report: US on short end of health care 'value gap'
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press
March 12, 2009, 5:57AM
The report from the Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs
of major companies, says
Concern about high
Americans spend $2.4 trillion a year on health care. The Business Roundtable report says Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on health care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.
In a different twist, the report took those costs and factored benefits into the equation.
It compares statistics on life expectancy, death rates and even cholesterol readings and blood pressures. The health measures are factored together with costs into a 100-point "value" scale. That hasn't been done before, the authors said.
The results are not encouraging.
The cost-benefit disparity is even wider — 46 points — when the
"What's important is that we measure and compare actual value — not just how much we spend on health care, but the performance we get back in return," said H. Edward Hanway, CEO of the insurance company Cigna. "That's what this study does, and the results are quite eye-opening."
"Spending more would not be a problem if our health scores were
proportionately higher," Dr. Arnold Milstein, one of the authors
of the study, said in an interview. "But what this study shows
is that the
Other countries spend less on health care and their workers are relatively healthier, the report said.
Medical costs have long been a problem for
One thing the report does not do is endorse the same solution
that countries like
The CEOs of the Business Roundtable believe health care for