Wisconsin Ranks Among Top U.S. States for Health Care Access and Patient Safety

Today, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued its State Snapshots ranking, naming Wisconsin fourth in the nation for highest overall health care quality among all 50 states – and Wisconsin ranks first in the Midwest.

AHRQ’s State  Snapshots web tool helps state health leaders, researchers, consumers, and others understand the status of health care quality in states, including each state’s strengths. The AHRQ uses more than 120 statistical measures to evaluate health care performance across care settings, including access to care and patient safety. AHRQ began issuing its State Snapshots in 2006, and Wisconsin has consistently ranked in the top four states in 10 of 12 years (AHRQ did not issue a report in 2012) – and was ranked first in the nation in 2006, 2008, and 2017. Wisconsin was ranked second in the U.S. in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015.

“Providers, administrators, patients, and families are working together in effective partnerships, across care settings locally and regionally – and that shows,” said WHA President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Wisconsin is a national leader and is known for its high quality, high-value health care. These rankings reflect not only outstanding performance today, but more importantly, a trend spanning over a decade demonstrating a sustained commitment to affordable, accessible, quality health care that our members deliver each and every day.”

Earlier this year, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration announced that Wisconsin’s Critical Access Hospitals were named fourth in the nation, according to the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program. The program ranks states based on quality data reporting and performance. A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is often located in a rural part of the state, and it provides short-term hospital stays when someone has a severe injury or illness, an urgent medical condition, or is recovering from surgery. CAHs help provide essential health care services locally, particularly in areas of the state where the next town may be 35 miles or so away.