Today, The Commonwealth Fund released its national rankings of child health performance (report here, and way cool interactive map here). Each state was evaluated on dimensions such as access, quality, costs, and “potential to lead health lives.”
Massachusetts ranks as one of best states for children’s health. We received #1 rankings in Access (number of uninsured children) and Quality (rate of vaccinations, preventative care visits, access to a medical home, etc.). However, there is still room for significant improvement in the area of cost, where Massachusetts ranks 47. Overall, we were ranked fourth.
If all states achieved top levels on each dimension of performance, 4.7 million more children would be insured and nearly 12 million more children would receive at least one medical and dental preventive care visit per year. More than 750,000 more children ages 19 to 35 months would be up-to-date on all recommended doses of five key vaccines, and more than 412,000 fewer children with special health care needs who needed specialist care would have problems getting referrals to specialty care services.
The data compiled in this report shows the great progress that we have made in expanding health access for children, and also shows us where more work is needed. The Children’s Health Access Coalition is working on its priorities for the coming year. What do you think are the most pressing issues for children’s health in Massachusetts?