miércoles, 21 de mayo de 2014

Health Care Quality and Access: Health Care Quality Improving, While Some Americans Still Lack Access

Health Care Quality and Access

Health Care Quality Improving, While Some Americans Still Lack Access

The overall quality of health care slowly improved from 2000 to 2011, yet 
Americans still only received 70 percent of recommended medical services, 
according to the newly released
2013 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report 
by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The reports indicate hospitals are leading the movement to improve quality, 
as three-quarters of hospital quality measures showed significant improvement. 
Healthcare-associated infection and hospital readmission rates are falling, 
and quality of care during the period improved for measures on adolescent 
vaccination, HIV treatment, colon cancer surgical care, and hospital care 
for patients with heart problems and pneumonia, while quality of care worsened 
for measures on diabetic checkups, Pap smears, maternal deaths at delivery, 
and receipt of asthma preventive care medicine. The reports also demonstrate 
the success of public reporting because of broad improvement in measures 
publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The data will serve as a baseline for tracking progress under the Affordable 
Care Act in upcoming years. Because the data predate implementation of 
most of the Medicaid expansions and health insurance exchanges included 
in the Affordable Care Act, the reports’ findings do not reflect progress made 
under the health care law. The reports did find that access to health care 
grew worse from 2000 to 2011, as 26 percent of Americans (especially 
racial and ethnic minorities and low-income people) reported difficulties 
with getting care.

The reports’ website, http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/, has been redesigned 
to facilitate benchmarking and trending capabilities through using a data 
query tool to compare national and state-level data.

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