A recent Gallup poll is showing a drop in Americans’ confidence in the U.S. medical system in the last year.
The drop is somewhat surprising after three years of improved confidence following the 2010 passing of the Affordable Care Act. Gallup notes that Republicans’ confidence dropped seven points since last year and that appears to be a major factor in this year’s confidence level.
This got us at BUILDER Pulse thinking...
How does U.S. healthcare stack up against the rest of the world? According to the World Health Organization, not so well. Note: this data is from before 2000. The WHO did not publish an updated report in 2010.
So, aside from moving to another country simply for a better medical system, let's explore the best systems in the United States. U.S. News & World Report recently published this scorecard ranking the best places in America for healthcare. The list was developed by ranking the following: access, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and cost, and healthy lives.
How about the best hospitals in the United States? Our friends at U.S. News & World Report have that covered, as well. This report ranks the top hospitals in the country in 16 different adult specialties ranging from cancer to psychiatry.
A ranking of cities with the largest populations of residents age 65 and older shows—not surprisingly—Florida and Arizona leading the way with six cities in the top 10. Should it be a surprise that none of the top 10 best medical systems and very few of the top ranked hospitals are in these states?
This isn't a knock against baby boomers, either. It is a safe assumption that as people get older and reach retirement age, the need for better healthcare becomes a higher priority—generally speaking.
Does this spell opportunity for the best hospitals in America? Could some of our world-renowned hospital systems such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo, and Cleveland tap into these potential gold mines? Does it simply say that people are willing to travel for better healthcare?
Don't knock the hospitals not on these top lists either! Healthcare is improving in ways you might not expect. Who would have thought design and architecture could have a healthy impact on patients visiting public health facilities? Research shoes it can! As technology gets smarter and cheaper, health facilities are also beginning to implement new products that are incorporating more natural light and pleasant views.
There may be 20 or 30 countries that have better healthcare systems than the United States (depending on how you think we've fared since the WHO's 2000 report), but there are over 150 that are worse off. Putting that in perspective makes me feel pretty good about my healthcare.