The Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker provides clear, up-to-date information on trends, drivers and issues that impact the performance of the system. It also illustrates how the U.S. is performing relative to other countries and how different parts of the system are performing relative to one another. A partnership of the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the KFF, the Tracker’s work goal places a heavy emphasis on data and evidence, addressing key questions through collections of charts, which provide data with additional context and synthesis of the latest research and developments. The Tracker also provide regular insight briefs for a more in-depth look at topical questions.

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Vaccines Are Free. Covid Care Is Not. Who Should Pay?

In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.

Assessing the Performance of the U.S. Health System

Health spending growth has consistently outpaced U.S. economic growth and is higher than medical spending in other wealthy countries. Despite spending more, the United States doesn’t have better health outcome in terms of life expectancy, mortality rates and other measures. This brief provides an overview of trends in health costs and the performance of the U.S. health system, including comparisons to countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The brief charts growth in the nation’s per capita health spending along with the recent slowdown, touching on the roles of expanded Medicaid eligibility, increases in Medicare beneficiaries and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, it discusses the health system’s effectiveness and capacity to provide services, including the accessibility and affordability of care.

Payments for Cost Sharing Increasing Rapidly Over Time

This Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that for workers covered by their employer’s health plans, out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and coinsurance have been increasing significantly faster than costs paid by insurers, reflecting a decade-long trend toward slightly less generous coverage.

How Prepared is the U.S. to Respond to COVID-19 Relative to Other Countries?

Compared to most similarly large and wealthy countries, the U.S. has fewer practicing physicians per capita but has a similar number of licensed nurses per capita. Looking specifically at the hospital setting, the U.S. has more hospital-based employees per capita than most other comparable countries, but nearly half of these hospital workers are non-clinical staff.

Interactive Maps Highlight Urban-Rural Differences in Hospital Bed Capacity

As the U.S. coronavirus outbreak spreads beyond densely populated metropolitan areas, a new KFF analysis finds that rural areas typically have fewer intensive care hospital resources than their urban counterparts, and populations at greater risk of developing serious illness and complications from COVID-19. While metro and non-metro areas have similar numbers of…

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