Wisconsin continued to hold its place as one of the best states in the nation based on the quality of its health care.
According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Wisconsin is the third most highly-rated state in the country, with overall health care quality scores that closely followed Maine and Massachusetts. The rankings are based on close to 200 measures that AHRQ uses to evaluate health care performance.
“The AHRQ rankings are a national validation of what we know here; Wisconsin’s local and regional health systems are delivering some of the best care in the country,” according to Wisconsin Hospital Association President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “Across the continuum of care, in rural and urban settings, we are maintaining consistently high performance, while striving to set even higher standards of care. It is that combination of performance and commitment to be better that makes Wisconsin a perennial leader.”
Wisconsin has shown consistently high performance since AHRQ started the state rankings in 2006. As AHRQ has evolved the rankings to include more health care sectors and new measures Wisconsin’s performance ranking has seen little change.
While Wisconsin's health care ranks among the best, we still have work to do when it comes to slashing health care costs. A recent study found that Wisconsin has the second-highest medical prices in the country, only behind Alaska. The study by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit organization created to make claims data from health insurers available to researchers, found that prices for 235 common medical services grouped as "care bundles," ranging from basic tests to back surgery, were on average 81 percent higher in Wisconsin than the national average.
The Legislature must remain committed to finding ways to make health care more affordable in our state. This will be one of my priorities during the upcoming legislative session.