Connecticut scores well in health care quality, but near the middle in disparities

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The latest National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from HHS finds significant improvement in access to health care across groups in 2014, likely due to the Affordable Care Act. Released earlier this month, the annual report tracks over 250 measures of quality and disparities in health care. Along with other northeastern states, Connecticut performed well in the quality of care. However there is room for improvement in addressing disparities. For example, just over 20% of both Hispanics and Blacks in Connecticut reported not seeing a doctor when needed due to cost in the last year, compared with 7.5% of whites. Overall Americans’ quality of care has improved across most metrics. Improvement in patient safety was remarkable with 17% fewer hospital-acquired conditions saving an estimated $12 billion. However few disparities were eliminated; poor Americans continue to experience less access to care and poorer quality. Two bright spots were the elimination of disparities in some childhood immunization rates and rates of adverse events. However some disparities in hospice care and chronic disease management got worse. Challenges remain.

Click here for the report chartbooks, here for the State Snapshot Tool and here to spend some time Mapping Medicare Disparities by state or county and by condition, year, sex, age, and race. Warning – it is very easy to spend an entire afternoon in the data without realizing it.