AHRQ Report Finds Gains in Healthcare Quality, but Disparities Remain
September 5, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
Although healthcare quality has improved overall in the past 15 years, racial and ethnic disparities persist for some populations, especially the poor and uninsured populations, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in its 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report. The report evaluates healthcare access, quality, and disparities since 2000 using 250 measures of quality and disparities for a broad array of healthcare services and settings. The pace of quality improvements varied by priority area, with the biggest gains in person-centered care (80% overall improvement) and patient safety (two-thirds of patient safety measures improved overall). In the area of disparities, the report found that for 20% of measures, disparities decreased for black and Hispanic populations but that most disparities have not changed significantly for any racial and ethnic groups.