The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released its annual healthcare state-by-state quality report, which includes new data on health insurance.
According to AHRQ officials, the new data on health insurance is categorized by source of payment (including private insurance), Medicare, Medicaid and those without insurance. It allows users to compare payer-specific quality rates as well as differences among payers.
The 2009 State Snapshots provide state-specific healthcare quality information, including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. State-level information used to create the reports is based on data collected for the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report.
As in previous years, the 2009 State Snapshots show that no state does well or poorly on all quality measures, according to the AHRQ.
According to the report, Maine, Maryland, Wyoming, South Carolina and the District of Columbia showed the greatest improvement. The five states showing the smallest improvement were North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Nebraska and Washington.
"The addition of the insurance information to the State Snapshots adds one more dimension to the picture of healthcare quality and disparities in individual states and regions," said AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, MD. "The 2009 State Snapshots continue to evolve into an invaluable resource for state officials and other stakeholders."
According to Clancy, the 2009 State Snapshots summarizes healthcare quality in three dimensions, including 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). There are also special focus areas on diabetes, asthma, Healthy People 2010 objectives, clinical preventive services and disparities.
Additional features in the 2009 State Snapshots provide more ways to analyze the quality of healthcare for each state compared with all states, as well as with states in the same region. New and enhanced features include enhanced sections on asthma care, diabetes care and healthcare disparities, Clancy said.