All States Must Improve the Way They Deliver Care

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<p>According to a government study published today in the online edition of <em>Health Affairs,</em> people who live in the Northeast region spend significantly more on health care than people elsewhere in the U.S.<br><br>In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=29949&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D523099%26%23doc523099">commentary</a> also published by <em>Health Affairs</em>, The Commonwealth Fund's Karen Davis and Cathy Schoen say that while state policymakers focus on improving health insurance coverage, "other important dimensions of health system performance, including quality and cost, receive less attention."<br><br>Davis and Schoen cite research, including the national and state scorecards released by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, that shows personal health spending is not related to mortality or quality of care. At the same time, Medicare spending is closely correlated with preventable hospitalizations.<br><br>The authors argue that states need to link better insurance coverage with policy strategies for improving quality and efficiency--whether by requiring people who are covered to designate a "medical home," or by changing the way providers are paid to "reward care coordination and more prudent stewardship of resources."</p>