Wisconsin Ranks Among Top U.S. States for Health Care Access and Patient Safety

Wisconsin ranks 4th highest overall in nation and #1 in the Midwest

September 25, 2018

Yesterday, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued its State Snapshots ranking, naming Wisconsin fourth in the nation—and first in the Midwest—for highest overall health care quality among all 50 states. AHRQ’s State Snapshots web tool helps state health leaders, researchers, and consumers understand the status of health care quality, including each state’s strengths.

The AHRQ uses more than 120 statistical measures to evaluate health care performance across care settings, including access to care and patient safety.  AHRQ began issuing its State Snapshots in 2006, and Wisconsin has consistently ranked in the top four states in 10 of 12 years (AHRQ did not issue a report in 2012) – and was ranked first in the nation in 2006, 2008, and 2017.  Wisconsin was ranked second in the U.S. in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015.

“Providers, administrators, patients, and families are working together in effective partnerships, across care settings locally and regionally – and that shows,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding.  “Wisconsin is a national leader and is known for its high-quality, high-value health care.  These rankings reflect not only outstanding performance today, but more importantly, a trend spanning over a decade demonstrating a sustained commitment to affordable, accessible, quality health care that our members deliver each and every day.”

“WHA members have a solid commitment to transparency and improvement, and Wisconsin’s performance in higher patient satisfaction scores and lower health care-associated infection rates are accomplishments other states aspire to,” said Beth Dibbert, WHA Chief Quality Officer.

Earlier this year, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration announced that Wisconsin’s Critical Access Hospitals were named fourth in the nation, according to the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program. The program ranks states based on quality data reporting and performance.  A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is often located in a rural part of the state, and it provides short-term hospital stays when someone has a severe injury or illness, an urgent medical condition, or is recovering from surgery. CAHs help provide essential health care services locally, particularly in areas of the state where the next town may be 35 miles or so away.

Wisconsin Quality Ranks Top in the Midwest & Fourth Highest in the Nation
AHRQ State Snapshots – 2018 Scores
Maine    72.53
New Hampshire    69.77
Rhode Island    68.89
Wisconsin    68.29
Massachusetts    67.48
Pennsylvania    65.38
Iowa    64.17
Minnesota    63.87
Vermont    62.87
North Carolina    62.20

WHA’s CheckPoint website includes clinical quality data that all Wisconsin hospitals voluntarily report to WHA.

This story originally appeared in the September 25, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter