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Report: Florida Loses Ground In Avoidable Hospital Visits

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Commonwealth Fund
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

When it comes to keeping people out of the hospital, Florida didn't score so well on new scorecard that pits state health care systems against one another.

"The Commonwealth Fund" report gave Florida a rank of 45 out of 50 states, plus Washington D.C., when it came to the "Avoiding hospital use and cost" indicator. That's a drop of 13 points between 2012 and 2015. 

The report's authors attribute this largely to Florida's refusal to expand Medicaid.

"I can't see in my data exactly how many people would have enrolled through Medicaid or not,"said the report's lead author David Radley. “But certainly Medicaid represents an important type of insurance coverage for lower income individuals in most states, and sure, if Florida expanded its Medicaid program up to the 138 percent of the federal poverty level. There's no question that more people in Florida would have been able to get health insurance through that expanded Medicaid program. 

The state scored a 39 overall.

"“We look at health system performance for all the states," Radley said. "We compare health system performance across all states and we do it in a very broad way. we look at access and affordability. We look at health care quality. we look at health care efficiency and health outcomes. And our goal really is to just provide data back to states on how well they're doing to help them set benchmarks, help them understand places where they have opportunities to improve. 

Read the full report here.

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.