November 13, 2006
The Levinger Lecture
Quality vs. Reality: Examining the Global Health Care Gap
Karen Davis, a noted economist and president of The Commonwealth Fund, will discuss “Why We’re Not Number One: A Look At High Performance Health Systems Across the Globe” on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006, at 4 p.m. in Andrews Dining Hall. The event, free and open to the public, is the annual Paul Levinger Professorship Pro Tem in the Economics of Health Care Lecture.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — If Americans spend so much on health care, why aren’t they healthier? Why isn’t the U.S. health system more effective, efficient, accessible and equitable?
Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund, will discuss this gap between spending and performance when she delivers the Paul Levinger Professorship Pro Tem in the Economics of Health Care Lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006, at 4 p.m. in Andrews Dining Hall. The lecture, titled “Why We’re Not Number One: A Look at High Performance Health Systems Across the Globe,” is free and open to the public.
A federal report shows that health care spending in the United States was $1.9 trillion in 2004, or $6,280 per person. Yet a report issued this fall by The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy that conducts independent research on health and social policy issues, shows that the United States falls far short of what it could achieve. The report rated the U.S. health system using 37 quality indicators, such as health outcomes and equity, and gave the country a score of 66 out of 100. If the United States improved performance in key areas, according to the report, the nation would save as many as 150,000 lives and as much as $100 billion annually.
Davis will talk about why the U.S. health system falls short, what lessons can be learned from other countries, and which goals and policies could improve health care quality, access and cost performance.
A reception follows the lecture. Andrews Dining Hall is located on the Pembroke Campus, south of Bowen Street between Brown and Thayer streets. For more information, call (401) 863-3232.
Karen Davis is a nationally recognized economist with a distinguished career in public policy and research. Before joining The Commonwealth Fund, the fourth-oldest philanthropy in the country, she served as chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she also held an appointment as professor of economics. She served as deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services from 1977 to 1980, making her the first woman to head a U.S. public health service agency.
Prior to her government career, Davis was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, and an assistant professor of economics at Rice University.
Davis is a current member of the New York City Mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues and a former member of the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) National Advisory Committee. She is the author of a number of significant books, monographs and articles on health and social policy issues, including Health and the War on Poverty.
The Levinger Lecture
The Paul Levinger Professorship Pro Tem in the Economics of Health Care was endowed in 1987 to honor the memory of Paul Levinger by his wife, the late Ruth Levinger, and his daughter and son-in-law, Bette Levinger Cohen and John M. Cohen ’59, M.D.