CHA News Article

2015 Scorecard on State Health System Performance Published

The Commonwealth Fund has released the 2015 edition of its Scorecard on State Health System Performance – the first to measure the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s 2014 coverage expansions. The scorecard finds extensive variation among states in individuals’ ability to access care when they need it, the quality of care they receive and their likelihood of living a long and healthy life. The report also finds broad-based improvements.

The 50 states and the District of Columbia are measured and ranked on 42 indicators grouped into five domains: access and affordability, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use and cost, healthy lives and equity. According to the report, California ranks among states as follows:

  • Access and Affordability – 30th
  • Prevention and Treatment – 37th
  • Avoidable Hospital Use and Cost – 14th
  • Healthy Lives -7th
  • Equity – 22nd

Individual indicators measure rates of uninsured children and adults, hospital patients who get information about how to handle their recovery at home, hospital admissions for children with asthma, and breast and colorectal cancer deaths, among many others. On most of the 42 indicators, more states improved than worsened.

Additional report findings reveal:

  • There are wide variations in performance, with up to an eight-fold difference between top- and bottom-ranked states.
  • National attention may be encouraging better quality of care in hospitals and home health care settings and more appropriate medication use in nursing homes and doctor’s offices. However, declining rates of preventive care in several states signal the need for greater attention to prevention.
  • Reductions in hospital readmissions accelerated in 2012, when the federal government began financially penalizing hospitals with high rates of readmissions.
  • Rates of potentially preventable admissions to the hospital continued to fall in several states. In recent years, health care spending growth moderated for Medicare beneficiaries across states, while premiums for employer-sponsored health plans continued to rise.

The full report is available on The Commonwealth Fund’s website.