May 24—The quality of U.S. health care is slowly improving, but quality and access are still suboptimal, especially for minority and low-income groups, according to two reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The new reports, National Healthcare Quality Report 2012 and National Healthcare Disparities Report 2012, say that access is getting worse, while disparities in health care are not changing. The reports call for “urgent attention” to ensure continued improvements in the quality of diabetes care, maternal and child health care, and certain adverse events; disparities in cancer care; and quality of care among states in the South.

This year’s reports include new measures on early and adequate prenatal care, colorectal cancer screening, national rate of hospital-acquired conditions, standardized infection ratios at the state level for central line-associated bloodstream infections, and patient safety culture hospital survey findings.

Publication Date: Friday, May 24, 2013