Health care quality is improving faster than access to care and disparities in care, according to the 2011 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports, released April 20 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The reports look at about 250 measures of health care quality, access and efficiency from a variety of national sources.
Between 2002 and 2008, 77% of quality measures related to treatment of acute illness or injury showed improvement, compared with about half of measures related to preventive care and chronic disease management, the reports indicate. At the same time, 50% of the measures that tracked disparities in health care access showed no improvement, while 40% were getting worse.
Specifically, Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives experienced worse access to care than whites on more than 60% of the access measures, while African Americans experienced worse access on slightly more than 30% of the access measures.
[ via AHA News Now ]