Rhode Island recognized by the Commonwealth Fund for improving on key health measures

October 31, 2019

The Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan foundation that provides analyses on health systems, recognized Rhode Island for improving on 21 of 45 health indicators — the most of any state — in its 2019 Scorecard on State Health System Performance.

In its profile of Rhode Island, the Commonwealth Fund highlighted that the state ranked highly on assisting children who need mental health services and had improved on meeting the needs of adults with mental illness, but drug poisoning deaths (many related to the opioid epidemic) and a worsening trend of adult obesity were areas of concern. The Providence Journal provided an in-depth analysis of how Rhode Island achieved this improvement but also highlighted areas where the state still needs to improve.

No other state in the Eastern Regional Conference (ERC) was recognized in the top five of “most improved.” According to the Commonwealth Fund, “Almost all states improved on more indicators than they worsened, but no state improved on a majority of indicators. Most states (42) saw little or no change on more indicators than they improved on.”

In other “top five” rankings on the scorecard, both Massachusetts and Connecticut were recognized as second and fifth, respectively, in the top five on overall health system performance. However, Massachusetts — as well as New Hampshire — also was in the bottom five of whether a state was able to improve on key indicators: while both states showed improvement on some indicators, they did not improve on as many indicators in comparison to other states. Both states also had worsening indicators around drug poisoning (again related to the opioid epidemic) and preventable hospitalizations.

Additional resources from the Commonwealth Fund on state health systems is available here. Additionally, the Commonwealth Fund’s senior vice president for policy and research, Eric Schneider, moderated a panel discussion on the effect of disruptive technology in healthcare at this year’s Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.

Xray of hand making OK sign

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

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