The Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released data today that confirms Wisconsin’s reputation as a leader in health care quality. Wisconsin ranked second highest in the nation in overall health care quality scores based on 171 measures that AHRQ used to evaluate health care performance.
In fact, Wisconsin was edged out of the top spot by Minnesota by a mere one tenth of a percent as the top performing state in the country based on health care quality.
“Patients can be glad they live in Wisconsin where we consistently deliver some of the best, safest care in the country,” according to Kelly Court, chief quality officer at the Wisconsin Hospital Association. “In Wisconsin, health care providers work collaboratively to raise the bar on clinical quality and achieve these superior results.”
“High quality care is a Wisconsin economic and competitive advantage,” said WHA President Steve Brenton. “Better quality means better value, not only for our patients, but also for our employers and it helps make Wisconsin more attractive for business. Like roads and utilities, quality health care should be touted as a Wisconsin advantage, a key element of our economic infrastructure.”
Since the health reform bill was signed into law, WHA has been working with a national coalition comprised of hospitals, health systems, hospital associations and physician groups to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington DC to help reform the health care delivery system in a way that rewards states that provide high quality, low cost health care.
“The report is another indication that our reimbursement system should move toward paying for the quality and value of health care, not for the quantity of procedures, tests and services that are prescribed for a patient,” according to WHA President Steve Brenton.
AHRQ ranks the quality of a state’s health care system from weak to very strong. Wisconsin’s strongest performance measures are related to care provided by hospitals, home care agencies and in physician clinics. Patients in Wisconsin who are being treated for cancer, respiratory disease or chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are getting better care here than they would receive in other parts of the country.
Stan Gaynor, CEO of Black River Memorial Hospital, stated, “Part of our mission is to provide high quality, accessible, progressive health care. This report confirms what our staff does for every patient, every day. We are continually striving to increase the value of healthcare for our patients and the community.”
According to AHRQ, its State Snapshots Web tool (http://statesnapshots.ahrq.gov) helps State health leaders, researchers, legislators and consumers understand the status of health care quality in individual states, including each state’s strengths and weaknesses. AHRQ’s annual State Snapshots is based on data drawn from more than 30 sources, including government surveys, health care facilities and health care organizations.