2013 Health Care Quality Report Shows Some Improvements

(HealthDay News) – Five key quality issues are showing some positive trends, according to the 2013 State of Health Care Quality Report published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Using data from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set results from calendar year 2012, the NCQA’s report draws attention to key quality issues in the United States.

The key issues identified in the report include: stable or declining performance in appropriate use of antibiotics; continued improvement in measures of child obesity; and mixed results regarding childhood immunization (increase among children enrolled in Medicaid Health Maintenance Organizations [HMOs], decrease for those in commercial HMOs). In addition, there was a continued decline in the diagnoses of patients needing treatment for substance abuse, especially among Medicare patients. In general, Medicaid patients reported better experience of care.

“We should internalize the quality movement’s emphasis on continuous improvement as a reminder to take the long view,” according to the report. “Annual studies like The State of Health Care Quality confirm that care is better in many ways than it was 10 years ago – or even five years ago. For all the complexity and political partisanship that roils health care today, it is encouraging to see how far we have come.”

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