AHRQ Releases National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has produced its eighth annual National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report, according to an agency news release.

These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness and efficiency of care. For the first time, these reports include chapters on care coordination and health system infrastructure. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care.

Key findings from the quality report include the following:

•    Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives received worse care than whites for about 40 percent of core measures, whereas Hispanics received worse care than non-Hispanic whites for about 60 percent of core measures.
•    Low-income people received worse care than high-income people for about 80 percent of core measures.
•    Quality is improving slowly. Across all 179 measures of healthcare quality tracked in the reports, almost two-thirds showed improvement. However, median rate of change was only 2.3 percent per year.
•    Access is not improving. Across the 22 measures of healthcare access tracked in the reports, about 60 percent did not show improvement and 40 percent were headed in the wrong direction. Median rate of change was -0.6 percent per year, indicating no change over time.
•    Measures of acute treatment are improving; whereas measures of preventive care and chronic disease management are lagging.

Read the National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report.

Read other coverage about AHRQ:

- AHRQ to Survey Medicaid Providers on Challenges for Meeting Meaningful Use

- AHRQ Publishes Common Formats for Adverse Event Reporting on Health Information Technology

- Two AHRQ Websites Relaunched

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