On health system performance were recently released by the Commonwealth Fund. Overall, Arizona ranked 36th, down from 33rd in the 2007 scorecard.
Not surprisingly, Arizona performs poorly in equity (39) and prevention and treatment (47), and better in healthy lives (21) and avoidable hospital use and costs (18). According to this analysis, if Arizona improved to the level of the best performing state (Vermont), we could add 655,000 adults to the health insurance rolls, provide 323,000 children with a medical home, and save $39 million in reduced Medicare hospital readmission costs.
Of course, states like Vermont, Minnesota and Iowa don’t have anywhere near the diverse population of Arizona. None of the states in the southwest were in the top two quartiles in composite rankings. Nevertheless, Arizona is clearly among the poorest performing states in effective, coordinated and patient-centered care. We can do better – and should.