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Health

Kansas Health System Performance Improving, But Only Slightly

stethoscope_jasleen_kaur_flickr.jpg
Jasleen Kaur
/
flickr Creative Commons

A review of health system performance nationwide shows some improvement in Kansas—but not much.

The report by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund covers three dozen indicators of access, quality, cost, and health outcomes. Like the rest of the country, Kansas saw more measures improving than declining—but the majority showed little or no change.

Co-author of the report Doug McCarthy says Kansas is doing better than average in providing patient-centered care in hospitals, preventing pressure sores in nursing home residents, and readmission to hospitals from nursing homes. He sees room for improvement in access to care—and that goes beyond having insurance coverage.

“You have, I think, 50,000 more individuals covered through the marketplace in Kansas," he says. "There’s still a lot of opportunity for local areas to help those individuals get connected to a primary care medical home, and ensure they know how to navigate the health system.”

And McCarthy notes that Kansas has actually gotten worse in terms of the suicide rate, and it remains worse than the national average on obesity and infant mortality.

Heartland Health Monitor is a unique reporting collaboration among several statewide public media organizations focused on health issues and their impact in Missouri and Kansas.