After taking a hiatus from The Medicine Bag, I have returned … with a question.
Do you think it’s fair and/or accurate to see Oklahoma ranked at or near the bottom of, well, just about every study of health that comes our way? We can’t be worst in everything health-related, can we?
I say this after reading about Wednesday’s report from The Commonwealth Fund. The nonprofit ranked children’s health in states on 13 indicators that included access to and quality of care, outcomes, equity and cost.
Oklahoma pulled up the rear. Fifty-first. Behind the District of Columbia and Mississippi. Leading the rankings were Iowa, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Now, I know the devil’s in the details, and I admit I haven’t looked at the methodology of this report. I usually do, however, which is why I ask about the fairness of all this. I imagine this report would pass muster if you agree what it measures accurately sums up the state of children’s health.
Ah, here’s where it gets tricky: Are the measures used fair? Are small differences in rates or percentages blown out of proportion? Is the information current, or as current as possible?
See the state’s “scorecard” for yourself here.
The interesting thing about these reports is they are all largely slicing and dicing the same data. Sometimes it gets hard to tell them apart.
Anyone who honestly assesses the state’s health will find huge problems. But last or near-last every time? Perhaps I’m becoming desensitized, but my reaction is getting to be “C’mon!?!”
What’s yours? Tell me what you think by posting a comment on this blog.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer