Iowa Ranks Sixth for Health System Performance

The Commonwealth Fund released its 2018 Scorecard on State Health System Performance, an annual state-by-state report compares access to care, quality of care, health outcomes and health disparities across the US using data on more than 40 measures.

Iowa has consistently ranked high in the report, but this year the state saw even more improvement. Iowa is ranked sixth in the nation for overall health system performance and sixth for access and affordability, up one and two spots respectively from 2017. The healthy lives category improved for Iowa as well, moving up four spots to number 12.

Specifically, Iowa’s most improved indicators include adults with mental illness who did not receive treatment, home health patients who did not get better at walking or moving and nursing home residents with an antipsychotic medication. Iowa’s top-ranked indicators include the number vaccinated adults, adults who went without care because of cost and low infant mortality.

The report also highlights areas that need improvement, including hospital 30-day mortality, home health patients with a hospital admission and obesity. Knowing this will help hospitals and health care systems better target efforts to improve the overall health of Iowa’s patients and communities.