Illinois Should Improve Healthcare Delivery Quality: Study

Illinois places 44th in national survey on quality of healthcare delivery.  Illinois medical providers rank among the nation’s most ineffectual when it comes to providing cost-effective treatment  and avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.

According to the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund’s report, Illinois ranks 49th among 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of “avoidable hospital use and costs.” The study measures how often Medicare patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease are admitted to the hospital or how frequently nursing home patients shuttle in and out of hospitals.  New York came in 50th, with Louisiana occupying the last place.

Illinois also placed 44th in terms of how effectively hospitals deliver basic care that avoids complications.  Healthcare costs and volumes of tests and treatments were found to be unusually high, especially in metropolitan Chicago.

There was some good news for Illinois in the Commonwealth Fund’s study.  The state ranked 20th in access to care, quality in terms of income, race and ethnic background; 29th in quality-of-life measures such as infant mortality; and 32nd in death rates for colon and breast cancer.  The study places Illinois in 42nd place in terms of the quality of overall healthcare delivery.

Cathy Schoen, Senior Vice President of the Commonwealth Fund and a co-author of the study, noted that the findings underscore the need for wide-ranging healthcare reform.  “We need payment reforms with incentives to do well on outcomes and efficiency of care,” she said.

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