How Does Your State Measure Up in Care Quality Rankings?

AHRQ Releases Updated 'State Snapshot' Tool

September 08, 2016 04:30 pm News Staff
[Quality level meter indicating excellent]

Would you like to know how your state stacks up against others when it comes to the quality of health care provided to its population?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released an updated interactive tool( that gives users state-level data showing how all 50 states and the District of Columbia performed on more than 250 measures related to health care access and quality.

The statistics for individual "state snapshots" were pulled from the AHRQ's 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.

Snapshots focus on states' performance related to topic areas defined as

Using the tool is a snap. Just scroll over any state or type in its name, and information on that state pops up. Users have a variety of options to explore.

Quality measures are compared to achievable benchmarks derived from the top-performing states. A bar graph categorizes and ranks 178 measures into three categories -- far from the benchmark, close to the benchmark or achieved/surpassed the benchmark.

For instance, Kansas achieved or surpassed the benchmark on 71 measures, came close on 76 measures and was far from achieving the benchmark on 31 measures.

Users can also view the state dashboard, the state's snapshot compared to all states, the state's strongest and weakest measures, case studies on the impact of health care quality in the state, and health care innovations and how they are improving health care quality in the state.

A comprehensive list of the performance of all states -- across all measures -- is available as part of each state's snapshot page.

According to that list, the top 10 overall performers were Maine (65.47 percent), Massachusetts (64.95 percent), Wisconsin (63.54 percent), New Hampshire (62.91 percent), Minnesota (61.54 percent), Iowa (57.65 percent), Delaware (57.23 percent), Vermont (57.14 percent), North Dakota (57.1 percent) and Rhode Island (55.88 percent).

States that needed the most improvement -- and ranked below the 40th percentile for all measures combined -- were New Mexico (last at 30.75 percent), preceded by Nevada, California, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

In an email message from AHRQ about its release of the interactive state tool, researchers noted that the state snapshots revealed "substantial variations" across states and "sizeable disparities" related to race, ethnicity, income and other factors.