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Government reports criticize healthcare system

New York Times, May 7, 2009
Two annual government reports show that progress in improving the quality of healthcare and narrowing health disparities among ethnic groups remains agonizingly slow, and that patient safety may actually be declining. One of the reports, compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found measurable improvement in fewer than half of the 38 patient safety measures examined. The agency concluded that one of every seven hospitalized adults on Medicare had experienced at least one adverse event, calling the finding "disturbing." A separate report on healthcare disparities noted some improvements in closing the gaps between ethnic groups but found little progress in addressing the most glaring differences.