Healthcare Inconsistencies Among States

Every citizen deserves access to high-quality healthcare, but unfortunately the quality of long-term healthcare and healthcare services varies greatly from state to state. A recent study published by the AARP, The Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation found that the quality of healthcare is much better in some states than in others. The study assessed healthcare in each state on five main dimensions:

  1. Affordability and accessibility of care
  2. Availability of choice of setting and provider
  3. Quality of life and quality of care
  4. Structural support for family caregivers
  5. Effectiveness of transitions between care and normal activity

These categories were assessed by considering 26 different factors, including the following:

  • Access to Medicaid home care programs
  • Quality and cost of nursing home and home care
  • Private home care insurance coverage
  • Percent of adults with disabilities in the community usually or always getting needed support
  • Percent of nursing home patients with dementia undergoing burdensome transitions
  • Number of home and personal care aides
  • Number of assisted living and residential care units
  • Quality of life and level of stress of family caregivers
  • Percent of home care patients with hospital admission

All of these factors and others were assessed to rank states by the level of care they provided. Top-performing states consistently scored high in almost every category in the study. These states were Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the opposite also was true. Bottom-performing states consistently scored fairly low in almost every category in the study. Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Indiana were the worst-ranked states in the United States.

A trend in the study showed that the gaps in the level of care were vast. This means that while the worst-ranked states did have some of the worst care provided, there were places in each state where you could receive very high quality healthcare. For this reason, the worst-ranked states have the capacity to give much better long-term healthcare services to their citizens if they choose to apply the same standards of care across the board.

While quality healthcare can be found in every state in America, many states could make strides to vastly improve the care they provide to average citizens. This may require examining the healthcare systems of top-performing states for suggestions, reviewing state policies, or committing more state resources to elder care. It is clear, however, that something must be done to assure that every person has access to high-quality healthcare. An elder law attorney can help you make sound decisions in regards to healthcare arrangements for your loved one.

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If a loved one needs assistance healthcare arrangements, contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. today for a free consultation to find out if you may have a case. Andrew Lamkin and his associates will be by your side every step of the process to assure that your family gets only quality care in the future.

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