Aiming Higher: Results from a Scorecard on State Health System Performance

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State Health Scorecard
source: commonwealthfund.org

Kudos to the Commonwealth Fund for their recent publishing of the Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2014.

The Scorecard assesses states on 42 indicators of health care access, quality, costs and outcomes from 2007 to 2012. Overall, changes in health system performance were mixed; some states made progress on some indicators while others states lost ground. Access to care decreased for adults, while costs increased. Continuous and persistent disparities across and within states and evidence of poor care coordination highlight the importance of insurance expansions, health care delivery reforms, the testing of new treatment and payment models, and payment changes in promoting a more equitable, robust, effective and high-quality health system.

The Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard evaluates 42 key indicators grouped into four dimensions:

  • Access and Affordability (six indicators): includes rates of insurance coverage for children and adults, as well as individuals’ out-of-pocket expenses for medical care and cost-related barriers to receiving care. 
  • Prevention and Treatment (16 indicators): includes measures of receiving preventive care and the quality of care in ambulatory, hospital, and long-term care and post-acute settings.
  • Potentially Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost (nine indicators, with one indicator, hospital admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, reported separately for two distinct age groups): includes indicators of hospital use that might have been reduced with timely and effective care and follow-up care, as well as estimates of per-person spending among Medicare beneficiaries and the cost of employer-sponsored insurance.
  • Healthy Lives (11 indicators): includes indicators that measure premature death and health risk behaviors.

In addition, an Equity dimension includes differences in performance associated with either patients’ income level across nine indicators, or race and ethnicity across 10 indicators that span other dimensions of performance.

The website provides a wealth of resources: an Interact with Scorecard data page and infographics. These are important tools and data points to assess the health status of our communities and start the dialogue on solutions to improve health, wellness and recovery! “In order to know where you are going, you have to know where you are.”

Where does your state stand? Check it out! http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/

 

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