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New state scorecard on children's health care finds wide geographic disparities
Date:2/1/2011

ould do as well as the best states:

  • 5.6 million additional children would have health insurance;
  • 10.2 million more children would receive routine preventive medical and dental check-ups;
  • Nearly 600,000 more children would be up-to-date on their vaccinations; and
  • 8.8 million more children would have a medical home.

"While children were able to gain and keep their health insurance thanks to Medicaid and CHIP, parents lost coverage as the job market deteriorated and cost of health insurance rose to unaffordable levels," said Cathy Schoen, Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President and coauthor of the report. "The study demonstrates how policies designed to maintain children's health insurance and access to health care have helped children get the health care they need, especially in tough economic times. Yet, because so many parents are uninsured, children and their families will remain at high risk until 2014, when access to health insurance will be expanded to include nearly everyone in the U.S."

While states in New England and the Upper Midwest generally rank highest in the scorecard, and states across the South and Southwest rank lowest, there are exceptions. For example, 94 percent of children in Alabama are insured, making it a standout among Southern states. North Carolina, meanwhile, has the highest rate of developmental screeninga direct result of an innovative statewide effort. The report notes that when state and local policies target specific issue areas, they are often effective in improving care and outcomes.

The states in the top-ranked quartile for overall performanceIowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Minnesota, Connecticut, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Washingtonoften perform well on multiple indicators and across dimensions. However, on many indicators there is room for improvement in all states. No state scores in the top 10 for
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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