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Reports Ranks Calif. 23rd on Several Health Care Measures

Every state, including California, this year made more improvements among various health care measures than declines, compared with 2014, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, Forum News Service/St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Details of Report

The report ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on their performance on 42 measures related to health care that fell under the categories of:

  • Access;
  • Cost;  
  • Outcomes; and
  • Quality.

Minnesota ranked first overall, while Mississippi ranked last.

According to Forum News Service/Pioneer Press, states in the upper Midwest and northeastern parts of the country ranked higher than other regions.

David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, said states in such areas "tended to expand coverage and to have lower insurance rates" (Lundy, Forum News Service/St. Paul Pioneer Press, 12/8).

California Findings

Overall, California ranked 23rd for health care access, costs, outcomes and quality.

In terms of access to health care, California ranked 30th. The report showed in 2015:

  • 17% of adults ages 19 to 64 were uninsured;
  • 14% of adults skipped care in the last year because of costs; and
  • 6% of children up to age 18 were uninsured.

California ranked 37th among prevention and treatment measures. The report found:

  • 78% of children ages 19 to 35 months had receive all recommended doses of seven key vaccines;
  • 74% of adults had a usual source of care;
  • 65% of children had a medical and dental preventive care visit in the last year; and
  • 32% of adults ages 50 and older had received recommended screening and preventive care.

Further, the report found that California ranked:

  • 22nd for equity measures, or performance by income and race;
  • 14th among avoidable hospital use and cost measures; and
  • Seventh among healthy lives measures.

The report also projected that if California improved its performance equal to that of the top performing state in each measure about:

  • 2.9 million additional adults would be insured;
  • 2.1 million fewer adults would forego care because of costs; and
  • 388,387 fewer children up to age 18 would be uninsured (Commonwealth Fund report, December 2015).
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