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America's Healthcare System: Best in World?

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Mary O'Brien has been battling diabetes for more than 15 years.

"I really wasn't taught anything about diabetes that I should know, you know, like controlling what I eat," she says.

That lack of education and proper treatment is a growing problem for the health care industry, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers looked at the healthcare given to patients in 12 cities around the country and found nearly half the time patients didn't get the recommended care for their medical conditions.

For example only a quarter of diabetics had their blood sugar levels measured regularly, and more than half of heart attack patients didn't get medicine to reduce their risk of death.

Dr. Elizabeth McGlynn/ Healthcare Researcher: "We were able in a few instances to point to how these failures to deliver needed care likely contributed to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of preventable deaths each year."

However some medical centers are trying a new approach to reduce those types of problems.

Dr. David Osler/ Cambridge Health Alliance: "What we're trying to do is have a patient work within a team of providers."

By working as a team, it's hoped they will catch problems individual doctors miss.

Patients like Mary now work with nutritionists and nurses as well as their doctors.

It's hoped that even with extra staff this system will save money by keeping patients out of the hospital.

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