2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report

Conclusions

The 2014 QDR demonstrates that access to care improved. After years of stagnation, rates of uninsurance among adults decreased in the first half of 2014 as a result of Affordable Care Act insurance expansion. However, disparities in access to care, while diminishing, remained.

Quality of health care continued to improve, although wide variation across populations and parts of the country remained. Among the NQS priorities, measures of Person-Centered Care improved broadly. Most measures of Patient Safety, Effective Treatment, and Healthy Living also improved, but some measures of chronic disease management and cancer screening lagged behind and may benefit from additional attention. Data to assess Care Coordination and Affordable Care were limited and measurement of these priorities should be expanded. Efforts by the HHS Measurement Policy Council (http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/mpcmeasures.pdf, 256 KB) and the National Quality Forum Measure Applications Partnership (http://www.qualityforum.org/map/) are underway to fill these measurement gaps.

Through local quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, providers and communities drive us toward better health care. The 2014 QDR documents the tremendous progress the nation has made toward the goal of high-quality health care that is accessible to all Americans and identifies areas of strength and weakness in the U.S. health care system. Policymakers can use these findings to celebrate the success that has been achieved and to direct future efforts toward making health care more coordinated, affordable, and equitable.

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Page last reviewed April 2015
Page originally created April 2015
Internet Citation: Conclusions. Content last reviewed April 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/nhqdr14/conclusion.html