US health systems made few gains in the years before the Affordable Care Act, report says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 02 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3059
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Few US states made progress in improving healthcare access, quality, or outcomes in the years preceding the Affordable Care Act, and most states either made no progress or lost ground across a wide range of performance measures, a new report has said.1

The report, an annual “scorecard” by the Commonwealth Fund, ranked the health systems of all 50 states and the District of Columbia using 42 healthcare measures, including 34 selected to assess trends in performance improvement.

Aiming Higher: Results from a Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2014, looked at data from 2007 to 2012, before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act were implemented.

The report found that all states saw an improvement in at least seven of the 34 trend measures, but more than half of the states lost ground on at least nine indicators.

“[O]n a significant majority of measures, the story is mostly one of stagnation or decline. In most parts of the country, performance worsened on nearly as many measures as it improved,” the report said.

During the time covered by …

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