A Fairer Mirror: Equity-limited Healthcare System Rankings


Healthcare systems are often evaluated using comparative health care rankings. Simulations have shown that maximally inequitable health care systems can perform well in published, influential health care system rankings by excelling in non-equity categories, resulting in highly ranked yet grossly inequitable healthcare systems. Recently, despite below average equity rankings, the healthcare systems of Australia and New Zealand ranked among the top four in The Commonwealth Fund's international comparative study Mirror, Mirror 20172. Equity rankings should logically limit non-equity rankings given the insignificance of healthcare system improvements to those lacking adequate healthcare coverage. We analyzed whether an equity-limited ranking methodology would limit overall rankings for significantly inequitable healthcare systems while maintaining the general findings of the Commonwealth Fund study.

Objective: Describe the diverse determinants of national health and how they are compositely graded in health care system rankings. Articulate intrinsic reasons why equity should not be subsumed within other evaluative categories. Design an equity-limited ratings framework for limiting maximum ratings of inequitible healthcare systems.

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January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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