Controllable chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma, go unchecked, generating serious adverse health effects. The incidence of all these problems is much higher among men of color, creating a deep national health crisis that is generally obscured from public view.
The high rate of medical errors in U.S health care system is no secret to insurers and their reinsures. Medical-malpractice insurers pay liability claims to patients injured by medical errors, and health insurers pay for the additional treatment to deal with the medical complications of those errors. Health-care costs represent about one-half that figure, with the rest accounting for lost income, lost household production and disability costs. Nevertheless, insurers' efforts to reduce medical errors did not receive much attention. Health insurers are feeling pressure from private and public purchasers as well as the National Committee for Quality Assurance, which is changing its accreditation requirements to include patient safety.