Check out coverage of the issue by Amanda Gardner in Wednesday's Washington Post, titled "U.S. Women's Health Care Still Falls Short."
Gardner summarizes findings of "Making the Grade for Women's Health: A National and State-by-State Report Card" published by the National Women's Law Center and Oregon Health and Science University.
Nationally, we are failing to deliver adequate healthcare to women (I'd argue we're failing to deliver adequate healthcare to many more demographics, but that's a post for another time).
States, the District and the nation were graded based on 27 benchmarks developed by US Dept. of HHS "Healthy People 2010" agenda.
Hitting 3 out of 27 benchmarks is a poor showing, but there are bright spots, including the following:
- percentage of women 40 and over getting regular mammograms
- percentage of women visiting the dentist each year (!)
- percentage of women 50 and over screened for colorectal cancer
It's important to note NO state received a "satisfactory" grade, but Vermont, Minnesota and Massachusetts received "satisfactory minus" grades this year. 2 years ago 8 states made the cut.
DC, West Virginia, Texas, Tennesse, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, and Alabama failed.
My new hometown of DC placed 44th, with the highest rates of HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and breast cancer death.
No state met the goals for health insurance; nationwide almost a fifth of women (18 percent ages 18-64) are uninsured.
The only indicator that worsened universally? Shocker: obesity.
If you want to lose weight - move to Hawaii: only 16.7 percent of women on the islands were overweight. For lower blood pressure - try Salt Lake: 17.7 percent of women in Utah had high BPs.
Meanwhile, 46 states scored worse in diabetes.
Another result detailed in the study is interesting, especially with regard to the current debate over a nationally provided, federally funded healthcare coverage program...the ONLY 2 policy goals met by all states in the program were Food Stamp participation and Medicaid coverage for breast/cervical cancer treatments.
Anyone still doubt the need for comprehensive, proactive wellness management programs?
And will each state's Department of Health please, please pick up a copy of the study and start managing against the 27 benchmark indicators?
27 things to save the life of women across the country. I don't know what's worse, that we're only counting 27 things or that we fail miserably at most of them.