Updated Dashboard Features New Data on U.S. Health System Performance

Newly updated and expanded, the Peterson-KFF Health System Dashboard compiles data on the U.S. health system’s performance in four areas: access and affordability, health and well-being, health spending, and quality of care. Users can explore trends over time, as well as disparities and differences across demographic groups. The dashboard also includes indicators comparing health outcomes and spending in the U.S. to that of similarly large and wealthy countries.

A new companion brief situates the data in broader trends in the U.S. health system and considers how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact measures of performance and quality. Among its key findings:

  • As of 2017, rates of disease burden, a measure that accounts for both longevity and quality of life, are higher in the U.S. than in comparable countries. The high rate of disease burden in the U.S. can be attributed in part to conditions believed to be risk factors for developing serious illness from COVID-19, including chronic respiratory diseases, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • From 2011 to 2018, the share of adults reporting problems paying medical bills dropped by more than a quarter. The potentially high cost of treating COVID-19 and shifts in the use of health care services during the pandemic could affect affordability of care.
  • Racial disparities in health outcomes persist. In 2017, life expectancy among White people in the U.S. was 78.5 years, but among Black people, it was 74.9. The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities underlying this Black-White life expectancy gap and other disparities, and it has thus disproportionately affected communities of color.

The Health System Dashboard is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, a partnership between the Peterson Center on Healthcare and KFF that monitors the U.S. health system’s performance on key quality and cost measures.