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Measuring the Quality of Healthcare in the U.S.

The quality of the U.S. health system is improving in many areas, but comparable countries continue to outperform the United States on key measures. In this brief on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, analysts from the Kaiser Family Foundation compile an overall picture of health care quality in the United States, using the best available data from numerous sources on health outcomes, quality of care, and access to services.

Measuring the Quality of Healthcare in the U.S. explains that good data exists on how much money is spent on health care in the United States, but much less is known about the correlation between spending and outcomes, and about how much outcomes are influenced by the health care system itself.  The brief also discusses why existing indicators are imperfect, and outlines the challenges of establishing meaningful national quality measures that can reliably show how the system is influencing the health of Americans.

The brief is part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.