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Quality meter for FL hugs the line


7/27/2010 © Health News Florida

A federal agency that tracks measures of health-care quality lists Florida's as "average," but barely. The arrow hovers right on the line above "weak."
It could be worse; Florida scores are much better than Louisiana and Texas. As usual, the northeastern states hog the glory.

One chart that may be useful in this annual National Healthcare Quality Report, produced by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, is the chart that shows the categories in which Florida was better or worse than average. Another chart  shows how Florida ranks on certain measures. 

For example, among Medicare managed-care patients who needed immediate attention for an illness or injury, about 65 percent said they got it, compared with almsot 69 percent nationally. That earned Florida a ranking of 36th.

Florida's strongest measures were in keeping home-health patients from needing urgent care; diagnosing breast cancer before the advanced stage; and avoiding obstetrical trauma.

The weakest measures were in getting flu vaccinations to high-risk populations, such as those in nursing homes and diabetes patients; deaths from HIV infection and among dialysis patients; and urinary-tract infection among nursing home patients.