How Good is RI’s Healthcare—New Federal Assessment
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the US Department of Health & Human Services, released its state-by-state ranking based on its 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report, which tracks performance on 18 "important" measures of healthcare quality, ranging from how many women get mammograms between the ages of 50 and 74 to vaccination rates among children ages 19-35 months, and from nursing home statistics to home health care measures.
Rhode Island: Top 20
AHRQ's overall healthcare performance meter for Rhode Island shows the Ocean State's arrow solidly in the "average" quadrant. Rhode Island's meter "score" ranked #16 in the US, but at the bottom of the New England states.
• Overall health care quality
• Types of care (preventive, acute, and chronic)
• Settings of care (hospitals, ambulatory care, nursing home, and home health)
• Five clinical conditions (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, maternal and child health, and respiratory diseases)
• Special focus areas on diabetes, asthma, Healthy People 2020, clinical preventive services, disparities, payer, and variation over time
The top-performing states overall this year were Minnesota (#1), Wisconsin (#2), Maine (#3), Massachusetts (#4) and Iowa (#5).
Regional Outlook: Low Average
While RI may look pretty good when compared to all 50 states, its data places it at the bottom of New England's 6-state performance, according to AHRQ. Maine put up the best meter score this year, beating out MA by one spot nationally. New Hampshire was close behind MA, at #6 nationally, and Vermont ranked #9. Outside of the top 10, Connecticut ranked #12 on its overall health meter score, and Rhode Island posted the lowest score in the region, ranking #16 nationally.
Strongest Measures: Cholesterol + Some Vaccines
Where Rhode Island's healthcare posted the best data largely centered on vaccinations. RI did best on number of children receiving hepatitis B vaccine, adolescents receiving the human papillomavirus and miningococcal conjugate vaccine, as well as seniors receiving the flu vaccine. RI's best performance overall was for percentage of adults 18 and over who've had their blood cholesterol checked in the last 5 years (#2 nationally).
Weakest Measures: Areas for improvement
Although some of the state's best outcomes related to specific vaccines, Rhode Island posted the lowest ranking in the country for children 19-35 months being fully vaccinated. The other weakest area for RI among the measures related to pneumonia care.
For more on how Rhode Island performed, go here.
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