The US Healthcare System: Finding a Model of Quality and Cost-Effectiveness
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The United States, while home to some of the best medical procedures and doctors in the world, is currently in a healthcare crisis. The entire system is not cost-effective at both the macro level of government spending and the micro level of clinical analysis. Even with the passing of the Affordable Care Act and a focus on containing costs, the United States spends more than twice the amount of money per capita compared to the second highest spending nation in the world. This thesis analyzes certain aspects of the U.S Healthcare system in order to identify how future reform can improve quality while maintaining cost-effectiveness. The history of healthcare in the United States is examined in depth to understand why comprehensive reform has been so difficult and how such reform may be achieved. This thesis argues that clinical epidemiology, comparative analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis can all be tools that can be used to achieve this reform through the use of Accountable Care Organizations.