CT second lowest in US in premature deaths, but also among most costly states

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Second only to New Hampshire among states, Connecticut residents are avoiding premature deaths preventable with better health care. However, no Connecticut community ranked in the top 10% across health indicators in the Commonwealth Fund’s 2016 Local Health System Scorecard. While we do very well in Healthy Lives measures, we have a great deal of work to do in Avoidable Hospital use. Medicare readmission rates are high in all three noted hospital referral regions – Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven. Hartford and New Haven area residents also face higher rates of avoidable ED and hospital admissions. Health care costs per person are among the highest in the nation, especially for employer-sponsored coverage. There is wide variation within states across the report’s 36 health care indicators of quality, access, avoidable hospital use, costs and outcomes. Overall the report found almost all localities in the US are making progress improving health but very slowly. New policies are making a difference including Affordable Care Act coverage expansions, Medicare’s hospital readmission and quality reporting initiatives, and FDA regulations and protections. Generally low-income areas perform more poorly but the report includes important lessons. Investments in public health are making a difference including school-based care, social service collaborations, workforce training, data, and connecting people to coverage and medical homes.