In July, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) posted the 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report on its website. Mandated by Congress, this annual report “provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of healthcare received by the general US population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups.” Based on over 250 quality measures, the report covers a wide range of healthcare services and settings. The key findings from the report were:
Access: While most access measures (65%) tracked in this report did not demonstrate significant improvement (2000-2014), uninsurance rates (measured as uninsured at the time of interview) decreased from 2010 to 2016.
Quality: Quality of health care improved overall from 2000 through 2014-2015 but the pace of improvement varied by priority area:
- Person-Centered Care: About 80% of person-centered care measures improved overall.
- Patient Safety: Almost two-thirds of patient safety measures improved overall.
- Healthy Living: About 60% of healthy living measures improved overall.
- Effective Treatment: More than half of effective treatment measures improved overall.
- Care Coordination: About half of care coordination measures improved overall.
- Care Affordability: About 70% of care affordability measures did not change overall.
Disparities: Overall, some disparities were getting smaller from 2000 through 2014-2015, but disparities persist, especially for poor and uninsured populations in all priority areas:
- While 20% of measures show disparities getting smaller for Blacks and Hispanics, most disparities have not changed significantly for any racial and ethnic groups.
- More than half of measures show that poor and low-income households have worse care than high-income households; for middle-income households, more than 40% of measures show worse care than high-income households.
- Nearly two-thirds of measures show that uninsured people had worse care than privately insured people.
See the table of contents and description of the report.
Download the full report.