The 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) is out. It is a combination of two previous reports to Congress as mandated by the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999. It gives a good picture of the quality of care in the US and as seen through different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Key findings included some good news: a drop in uninsured adults during the first half of 2014, better access to healthcare for children across the board, improved patient safety, higher immunization rates for adolescents, and an increase in patient-provider communication. However, it was found that poor citizens still experience less access and poorer quality of care. When measuring disparities in quality and outcomes by income, race, and ethnicity it was found that they are persistent. Disparities worsened in the areas of hospice care and chronic disease management. Nevertheless, the report also points out that it is possible to eliminate disparities as proven by the elimination of disparities in childhood immunization rates and rates of adverse events associated with procedures.
2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report. May 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.