AHRQ releases new healthcare quality data categorized by payer

Maine, Maryland, Wyoming, South Carolina and the District of Columbia showed the greatest improvement in healthcare quality indicators that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has added to its 2009 State Snapshots. The five states showing the smallest improvement were North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Nebraska and Washington. For each state, specific clinical conditions could be identified that account for different rates of improvement.

Overall, states get mixed reviews for the quality of care they provide. As in previous years, AHRQ's 2009 State Snapshots show that no state does well or poorly on all quality measures. The snapshots consist of state-specific healthcare quality information, including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. It is designed to help state officials and their public- and private-sector partners better understand healthcare quality and disparities by state.

The new data on healthcare quality is categorized by source of payment, including Medicare, Medicaid and those without insurance. The data makes it possible to compare payer-specific quality rates and other indicators. One may compare the quality of care received by Medicaid or uninsured patients with the national rates for the same peer group.

The 2009 State Snapshots provide state-specific healthcare quality information, including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. State-level stats used to create the state snapshots is based on data collected for the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report.

The guide summarizes healthcare quality according to three criteria: types of care (preventive, acute and chronic care), settings of care (hospitals, ambulatory settings, nursing homes and home healthcare) and clinical conditions (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, maternal and child health and respiratory disease).

To learn more:
- read the AHRQ's press release
- visit the 2009 State Snapshots