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New health system scorecard shows little progress among states from 2007-2012
Date:4/29/2014

New York, NY, April 30, 2014States made little progress in improving health care access, quality, and outcomes and lowering costs in the five years preceding implementation of the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (2007-2012), according to the Commonwealth Fund's third state health system scorecard. The majority of states declined or failed to improve on two-thirds of the 34 scorecard indicators that could be tracked over time.

Wide gaps among states persisted since the last scorecard, with top states sometimes performing two to eight times better than the lowest-performing states. For example, the rates of elderly receiving high-risk medications, children hospitalized for asthma, Medicare hospital readmissions, and potentially preventable deaths before age 75 were more than twice as high in states near the bottom of the scorecard compared to states with the best performance.

The report, Aiming Higher: Results from a Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2014, ranks the health systems of every state and the District of Columbia based on 42 health care measures, 34 of which are used to reveal trends between 2007 and 2011-12. All states saw meaningful improvement on at least seven of the 34 trend measures. However, more than half of states lost ground on at least 9 indicators.

Indicators for which performance improved in a majority of states were often the targets of concerted federal and state efforts. Gains in safe prescribing for the elderly, reductions in avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions, higher childhood vaccination rates, and fewer cancer-related deaths chiefly resulted from greater attention being paid at both the national and state levels, including investment to promote better health outcomes.

For example, Vermontwhich ranks near the top of the scorecard, along with Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshirehas been a national leader in guaranteeing access to care and
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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