Thursday, April 19, 2007

OHP ranks 12th in the nation in Medicaid study.

Public Citizen has just released "Unsettling Scores: A Ranking of State Medicaid Programs," and Oregon came in 12th. The report notes that the state would have placed substantially higher were it not for a ranking of 31st in the "Quality of Care" area. Two things within that category dragged us down: nursing homes and percentage of youth immunizations.

Oregon actually got negative points for "Deficiencies in quality of care," and zero points for immunization percentages, which effectively tanked the overall point values. I haven't looked at the kind of stuff that allows them to award less than zero, but if I were a legislator (which I ain't) I would take a long hard look at whatever it was that was causing that particular statistical beatdown.

I also wonder what sort of impact Oregon's home health care industry has on a study like this. Like many states, home health appears to be thriving. I'd be interested to see how, if at all, that impacts the overall quality of nursing homes (fewer nurses available to staff the homes, stronger competition for dollars in the home health area, whatever).

Still and all, twelfth is pretty good. Despite repeated claims that the Oregon Health Plan is broken, it remains one of the most robust and innovative plans in the nation.

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