MA Ranked Top 5 in US for Healthcare
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.
Massachusetts: Top 5 in US
AHRQ's overall healthcare performance meter for Massachusetts shows the Bay State's arrow solidly in the "strong" quadrant, placing it in the nation's Top 5 for its meter score. The meter represents MA's balance of below average, average, and above average measures compared to all 50 states. The measures encompass:
• 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). Following MA was Iowa at #5.
Regional Outlook: Average
While MA may look very good when compared to all 50 states, its data places it right in the center 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: Women and children
Massachusetts ranked #1 in the country on 3 measures, all related to maternal/family health: number of women ages 50-74 who'd received a mammogram within that least 2 years; women ages 21-65 who received a Pap smear test within the last 3 years; and children ages 19-35 months who'd received all recommended vaccines. Further, MA also posted very low number of adults who needed care but did not get care, as well as providers who didn't explain care clearly, meaning the state performed extremely well on these measures.
Weakest Measures: A range of concerns
The state's worst performance areas for 2011 involved breast cancer dissections and the handling of pneumonia cases, as well as appropriate medication for hospice care, asthma admissions for senior, and nursing home stays for certain low-risk residents.
For more on how Massachusetts performed, go here.
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