So today we learn from the Medicare number-crunchers up in Hanover, NH that simply gaining access to primary care doctors isn’t good enough — you’ve got to find high-quality care, and an integrated system that offers support from a range of other providers (see my post on a Boston non-profit that deploys an intense primary care network to reduce hospitalizations among the chronically ill and elderly.)Still, new research from the influential and sometimes controversial Dartmouth Atlas Project paints a troubling picture of racial and care disparities across the country.
NPR’s health blog sums up the key findings succinctly:
Leg amputation capital of the country: McAllen, Texas (3.29 per 1,000 — paging Dr. Gawande!).
Lowest rate of seeing a primary care clinician at least once a year: Bronx, N.Y. (60.2 percent).
Blacks least likely to see a primary care clinician: Olympia, Wash. (42.9 percent, half the rate of whites there).
Lowest mammogram rate: Chicago. (50.1 percent — potential campaign issue for a mayoral candidate?)