Tuesday, March 1. 2011
The gap between those that can access healthcare and those who cannot is still large; especially between ethnic, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.
Healthcare quality has improved at about 2.3 percent a year, recently. But care for American Indians, Alaska Natives and African-Americans has been worse in about 40 percent of core measures, such as effectiveness, patient safety and efficiency, than whites. Asians had poorer healthcare for about 20 percent of said measures. Hispanics were in the worst shape regarding healthcare, being 60 percent lower in core measures.
The poor have the largest gap from the rest of the groups studied, receiving lower quality healthcare compared to the wealthy in 80 percent of core measures. This last point can be interpreted that the poor have a more difficult time obtaining health insurance than the wealthy, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
"All Americans should have access to high-quality, appropriate and safe healthcare that helps them achieve the best possible health, and these reports show that we are making very slow progress toward that goal," said Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director for the AHRQ.
The annual report is mandated by Congress, and examines various aspects of quality healthcare such as access, care coordination, health system infrastructure, patient-centeredness and timeliness.
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