Where You Live Matters: Results from The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System’s 2009 State Scorecard

The cost and quality of health care, as well as access to care and health outcomes, continue to vary widely among states according to the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System’s second state scorecard. The report, Aiming Higher: Results from the 2009 State Scorecard on Health System Performance, is a follow-up to the Commission’s 2007 State Scorecard report; ranking states on 38 indicators in the areas of access, prevention/treatment quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, healthy lives, and equity.

In 2009, Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, and New Hampshire led the nation as top performers on a majority of scorecard indicators. Leading states set new, higher benchmarks on a majority of indicators. Conversely, states in the lowest quartile often lag the leaders on multiple areas and the gaps have grown wider in multiple areas.

As national health reform efforts continue, the report illustrates areas in which states are leading the way in improving the delivery of care and health outcomes and examines areas where federal resources and action are necessary to support state efforts to improve.

In what areas have states improved and where are we losing ground? What lessons do the leading states have to offer others, and how can these lessons shape federal efforts to improve health system performance? What will the role of states be in health system improvement in the wake of national reform efforts?

To address these and related questions, The Commonwealth Fund is sponsoring an October 19th luncheon briefing. Speakers will be: Cathy Schoen, The Commonwealth Fund; Carolyn Clancy, Agency for Health Research and Quality; and Delegate Heather Mizeur of Maryland. Alan Weil, Executive Director of the National Academy of State Health Policy and member of the Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System, will moderate.