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New Snapshots Show States Vary Widely in Providing Quality Health Care

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's annual release of state-by-state quality data continues to give states mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ's 2008 State Snapshots show that no state does well or poorly on all quality measures.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also releasing state-by-state reports on the health care status quo. The reports are available at

The 2008 State Snapshots provide state-specific health care quality information, including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. The state-level information used to create the State Snapshots is drawn from the 2008 National Healthcare Quality Report, which was released in May by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and contributes to a national portrait of health care quality.

"The State Snapshots are an invaluable resource for state officials, health care providers and purchasers to help them better understand the extent of health care quality and disparities in their states," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "With this information, they can take the necessary steps to improve health care quality and address persistent gaps in access to health care."

The 2008 State Snapshots summarize health care quality in three dimensions: type of care (preventive, acute and chronic care), setting of care (hospitals, ambulatory, nursing homes and home health care) and by clinical areas (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, maternal and child health and respiratory disease). The 2008 State Snapshots allow users to explore whether a state has improved or worsened compared with other states in several areas of health care delivery.

New features in the 2008 State Snapshots provide more ways to analyze the quality of health care for each state compared with all states, as well as states in the same region. Enhanced features include:

  • A new Focus on Asthma section: This section includes state-specific information on the prevalence of adult self-reported asthma rates; potentially preventable hospitalizations for children, adults and the elderly; and potential returns on investment of asthma care quality improvement programs for Medicaid, state employees and privately insured Americans.
  • An expanded Focus on Disparities: This section includes state-specific information on disparities in the quality of care compared with the nation overall by looking at care received by various racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. This section also includes new information on prevalence of diabetes that includes a U.S. map showing the adult self-reported prevalence of diabetes by state.
  • Enhanced Dashboards: The dashboard for each state now contains revised graphics that succinctly display all of the summary measures on health care quality and allow a clear view of the range of each state's performance.

AHRQ's annual State Snapshots are based on data drawn from more than 30 sources, including government surveys, health care facilities and health care organizations. To access this year's State Snapshots tool, go to:

Use Twitter to get AHRQ news updates:

SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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