Ezekiel Emanuel: The Statistics of Pennsylvania Health Care

Ezekiel Emanuel: The Statistics of Pennsylvania Health Care

Higher Costs and Lower Quality Than the National Average

Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ezekiel Emanuel and Meghan O'Toole detail how Pennsylvania's health care system stands out among other states for its overall high costs and low quality.

One root cause cited by the authors is "overutilization of health care."  They  go on to note that the state has "more hospital beds, more emergency-room visits, a higher rate of admissions, and a longer average length of hospital stay."

"Seventy-four of every 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries are admitted to the hospital in Pennsylvania, compared with 41 per 1,000 in the best state," they write. "Similarly, we have 185 avoidable ER visits per 1,000 Medicare patients while the best states have 129. Hospital admission for children who have asthma is nearly double the national average."

Emanuel, PhD, MD, is the University of Pennsylvania's Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and an LDI Senior Fellow. O'Toole is a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress.