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Oregon Ranks High in Healthcare Improvement

Interim results from Medicare show Oregon providers are improving healthcare quality

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued preliminary rates of improvement for 19 states on the current measures of its national Medicare Healthcare Quality Improvement Program. Oregon ranked third among this group of states in overall improvement on the 22 quality measures. The previous CMS performance evaluation in 1998 placed Oregon 10th in the nation on those same indicators of healthcare quality.

The Medicare program's 22 quality measures track preventive services such as mammography and immunization against influenza and pneumonia and treatment for diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and pneumonia - conditions that significantly affect the health of older adults and drive healthcare cost.

"Oregon healthcare providers have done a tremendous job in responding to the opportunity to improve the care they provide. The degree of improvement is especially commendable considering Oregon's high ranking when baseline data on these measures were collected in 1998," said David Shute, MD, associate medical director of OMPRO, the nonprofit organization that contracts with CMS to oversee the quality of healthcare provided to Medicare beneficiaries in Oregon. "We're particularly proud to see Oregon's performance in providing important adult immunizations for influenza and pneumococcal disease earn the state first-place ranking on this quality indicator among the 19 states."

Noteworthy improvement occurred in several healthcare measures:

  • LDL-cholesterol tests to help improve care for patients with diabetes increased 22 percent.
  • Flu immunization screening for patients hospitalized with pneumonia increased 19 percent.
  • Reported rate of flu immunization increased 12 percent.
  • Beta blocker administration following heart attack increased 10 percent.

"Knowing these rates of improvement helps us identify areas that need more work," Shute said. "We have seen a decrease in documentation of smoking cessation counseling, and mammography screening is still low at 64 percent."

Shute cautioned that results are preliminary, "It may be another year before we know where Oregon ranks when compared to all states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The work we see Oregon healthcare providers undertaking indicates our state will continue to rank high. Certainly, the interim results show that our provider community is improving the quality of healthcare in Oregon."

Contact Information

Thomas G Cooney, MD, MACP
Oregon Chapter Governor

Mary Olhausen
Phone: 360-892-1814
Fax: 360-326-1844