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Lonhala Magnair

More Americans Have Health Insurance and Receive Safer Care, But Gains Remain Uneven Among Minorities

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) 2016 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report shows quality of health care continues to improve gradually each year but gains remain uneven among minorities.

Some of the biggest improvements are in measures of “person-centered care,” such as communication between doctors and their patients, and the safety of medical care, such as fewer complications among hospital patients who were taking anticoagulants other than warfarin.

The report also indicates fewer people were uninsured, as 11% of people under age 65 were uninsured in 2016 compared with 18% in 2010.

However, most disparities in healthcare quality continued to persist, with no significant improvements for any racial or ethnic groups, especially people in poor, low-income and uninsured households, as well as Blacks and Hispanics.

As a companion to the report, AHRQ’s Chartbook on Patient Safety provides new data on dozens of safety measures, such as the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections decreasing by more than 40% between 2009 and 2014.

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