"In some cases, the nation’s progress was overshadowed by improvements in other industrialized countries, which typically have more centralized health systems, which makes it easier to put changes in place.
The United States, for example, has reduced the number of preventable deaths for people under the age of 75 to 110 deaths for every 100,000 people, compared with 115 deaths five years earlier, but other countries have made greater strides. As a result, the United States now ranks last in preventable mortality, just below Ireland and Portugal, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s analysis of World Health Organization data. The leader by that measure is France, followed by Japan and Australia.
Other countries worked hard to improve, according to the Commonwealth Fund researchers. Britain, for example, focused on steps like improving the performance of individual hospitals that had been the least successful in treating heart disease. The success is related to “really making a government priority to get top-quality care,” Ms. Davis said."
The Commonwealtth Fund's Report is here:
Why Not the Best? Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008July 17, 2008 Volume 97
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System