Release of county-level data reveals disparities in care

We are pleased to publish the detailed, county-level data we used to produce the 2014 Disparities in Care Report. Organizations such as public health departments, city and county governments, regional health improvement groups and hospitals have all expressed interested in gaining access to this data. Why? This data can inform health equity initiatives, population health management strategies and community health needs assessments.

Why is this data different from national reports on disparities in care? There are excellent reports, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and IHME’s US County Profiles, which look at disparities in health outcomes. But without knowing why some racial and ethnic groups have worse health than others, it’s difficult for hospitals and other health providers to initiate meaningful quality improvement initiatives. Our data looks at process—what kind of care is being delivered—in order to answer this question.

Now that we can share this information, groups who are working on population health can see data for their community and compare across counties.

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Published: July 30, 2014

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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