The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has issued the 2011 National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR). Four themes from the 2011 NHQR and its companion National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR) emphasize the need to accelerate progress if the Nation is to achieve higher quality and more equitable health care in the near future:
*Health care quality and access are suboptimal, especially for minority and low-income groups.
*Quality is improving; access and disparities are not improving.
*Urgent attention is warranted to ensure continued improvements in quality and progress on reducing disparities with respect to certain services, geographic areas, and populations, including:
o Diabetes care and adverse events.
o Disparities in cancer screening and access to care.
o States in the South.
Moreover, progress is uneven with respect to national priorities identified in the HHS National Quality Strategy and the HHS Disparities Action Plan:
o Improving in quality: Ensuring Person- and Family-Centered Care, and Promoting Effective Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease.
o Lagging: Making Care Safer, Promoting Healthy Living, and Increasing Data on Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations.
o Lacking sufficient data to assess: Promoting More Effective Care Coordination, and Making Care More Affordable.
Disparities related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are present in all priority areas.