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

all indicators. Further, the report finds that even leading states still have substantial shortfalls for children.

The report highlights the interrelationship between different components of states' health care systems. Seven of the 13 states that lead on access and affordability also rank among the top states in prevention and treatment. Children in states with the lowest uninsured rates are more likely to have a medical home, get preventive care, or receive referrals to needed care than children in states with the highest uninsured rates.

"A healthy start in life is essential for a child's success," said coauthor and Commonwealth Fund Vice President Edward Schor, M.D. "The wide differences in health care across the U.S. puts that healthy start in jeopardy for millions of children. We can do better. What is unique about this scorecard is that it looks at what has been achieved by the top states and holds that performance up as an example for other statesbecause if it's possible to insure almost all of the kids in Alabama, it should be possible in Texas and Mississippi. State and health care system leaders just need to make it a priority."

Additional Report Findings:

Health Insurance

Despite the broad gains in insuring children, there are still wide differences in insurance coverage rates among states. For example, only 3 percent of children in Massachusetts were uninsured in 2009, compared to 17 to 18 percent in Nevada, Florida, and Texas.

Preventive Care

On children receiving all recommended doses of six key vaccines, there is a wide gap between the top-ranked state, Iowa, where 84 percent of children received all vaccines in 2009, and the bottom-ranked states, where only 65 percent of children were vaccinated. On hospital admissions for pediatric asthma, the best state, Oregon, had a rate of just 44 per 100,000 in 2006, compared to 251 per 100,000 in New York.

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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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