Wisconsin Health Care Maintains Rank among Best in Nation


MADISON (July 22, 2016) ---- Wisconsin continued to hold its place as one the best states in the nation based on the quality of its health care.

According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Wisconsin is the third most highly-rated state in the country, with overall health care quality scores that closely followed Maine and Massachusetts. The rankings are based on close to 200 measures that AHRQ uses to evaluate health care performance.

“The AHRQ rankings are a national validation of what we know here; Wisconsin’s local and regional health systems are delivering some of the best care in the country,” according to Wisconsin Hospital Association President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “Across the continuum of care, in rural and urban settings, we are maintaining consistently high performance, while striving to set even higher standards of care. It is that combination of performance and commitment to be better that makes Wisconsin a perennial leader.”

Wisconsin has shown consistently high performance since AHRQ started the state rankings in 2006. As AHRQ has evolved the rankings to include more health care sectors and new measures Wisconsin’s performance ranking has seen little change.

“The consistency from year to year is important,” says Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. “This demonstrates that health care is well coordinated and delivered as an entire system across the state. It also shows that Wisconsin providers continue to evolve as health care changes and they focus on improving important aspects of the care they provide.” 

The AHRQ quality measures are compared to achievable benchmarks, which are derived from the top-performing states. AHRQ measures health care quality in three different contexts: by types of care (such as preventive, acute, or chronic care), by settings of care (such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health or hospice), and care by clinical area (such as care for patients with cancer or respiratory diseases). They also report measures by race and ethnicity.

Wisconsin scored higher than the national benchmarks on 50 percent of the 200 measures. Areas of strong performance include care for acute and chronic conditions, as well as preventive care. The state also shows consistently high performance in the area of care coordination, which includes measures for coordination of care between health care settings and the patient.

While Wisconsin shows strong overall performance in most areas of care, there is still work to be done related to health care equity. When measures are segmented by race and ethnicity the performance is just average. The data indicates that blacks and Hispanics may not be getting adequate care for their chronic conditions that result in avoidable hospitalizations.

“WHA members are working with community partners and, at the same time, aligning their quality improvement goals to address health care equity issues,” Court said.

Access the full AHRQ report here: https://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/state/select

AHRQ Rankings 2006 - 2016


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