The Commonwealth Fund’s most recent Scorecard on Local Health System Performance places Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the bottom 10 percent for health-care quality.
The Scorehead uses a number of markers. It is in the health outcomes and access to health care markers that Tulsa is performing poorly.
Out of 306 hospital referral regions, Tulsa ranked 283. Oklahoma City ranked 286th and Lawton 299th.
OU-Tulsa President, Dr. John Schumann identified two themes coming out of the report:
1. Medicare’s penalizing of hospitals with high re-admission rates has led to decreased re-admissions and mortality.
2. Tulsa has improved in some areas, but so have other regions.
3. Access-to-care is improved with the expansion of Medicaid. Tulsa will continue to perform poorly until that occurs.
Schumann said Oklahoma should accept federal money to expand Medicaid and this will help with rankings.
“These are tax dollars that all of us pay to the federal government, and Oklahoma has elected not to receive those dollars back, so other states are receiving the benefit of our tax dollars, and by doing so they are improving overall health care,” Schumann said.
I find it morally reprehensible that the Oklahoma government resists federal assistance at the cost of its residents’ healthcare.