Work in Progress: Unequal care: An investigation of health-care disparities in Wisconsin

Published on
September 21, 2009

Here's a quick description of my fellowship project:

The working title is "Unequal care: An investigation of health-care disparities in Wisconsin." By many measures, Wisconsin residents enjoy some of the best health care in America. The state was ranked ninth in the Commonwealth Fund's 2007 State Scorecard on Health System Performance, which "assesses state variation across key dimensions of health system performance: access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, equity, and healthy lives."

But Wisconsin hasn't found a way to spare its residents from suffering health-care disparities much like those found across the nation. Despite more than a decade of efforts, serious gaps remain in the health care received by many of Wisconsin's most vulnerable populations -- including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income residents, women, children, older adults, residents of rural areas and people with special health needs or disabilities.

I plan to use data, public records and interviews with a wide variety of sources to investigate which disparities have been reduced, which have remained unchanged and which have deteriorated over the past decade.