News and Highlights
2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report
Access to health care improving for all racial and ethnic groups following Affordable Care Act, though additional work remains.
The 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows the progress and opportunities for improving health care quality and reducing health care disparities.
Among the highlights in this year's report:
- Insurance rates improved substantially after individuals were able to obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces -- and the gains in access to care were greater among black and Hispanic adults than whites.
- The overall rate of "uninsurance" - a measure of access to care - decreased substantially to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 for those age 18 to 64 (from a high of 22.3 percent in 2010).
- For blacks, the uninsurance rate decreased from 24.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent in the first half of 2014. During the same period, the uninsurance rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 33.2 percent for Hispanics, and the rate declined from 14.0 percent to 11.1 percent for whites.
This year's report has been consolidated and tracks performance measures that align with the National Quality Strategy. Chartbooks on specific topics -- such as access to care, patient safety and care coordination - will be issued in coming months to provide more detailed information and easy-to-understand slides that can be downloaded for presentations.
The report provides a snapshot of health care quality and disparities through trend analyses from 2000-2002 to 2011-2012 (except for select measures of access to care tracked through the first half of 2014, and for adverse events in hospitals tracked through 2013). Because most data precede implementation of a majority of the health insurance expansions included in the Affordable Care Act, the report serves as a baseline for measuring progress in future years.
2014 National Quality and Disparities Report
2014 National Quality and Disparities Report Chartbooks
National Quality Strategy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2015 Annual Progress Report on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. The National Quality Strategy (NQS) is an initiative led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on behalf of HHS. To review the Annual Progress report and other related materials, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/reports.htm.
This year's report spotlights:
Visit the Working for Quality Web site to learn more about the National Quality Strategy.