The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, identifies opportunities for states to improve their health systems for economically disadvantaged populations and provides state benchmarks of achievement. Analyzing 30 indicators of access, prevention and quality, potentially avoidable hospital use, and health outcomes, the Scorecard documents sharp health care disparities among states. Between leading and lagging states, up to a fourfold disparity in performance exists on a range of key health care indicators for low-income populations. There are also wide differences within states by income. If all states could reach the benchmarks set by leading states, an estimated 86,000 fewer people would die prematurely and tens of millions more adults and children would receive timely preventive care. Moreover, many benchmarks for low-income populations in the top states were better than average and better than those for higher-income or more-educated individuals in the lagging states.
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