Pennsylvania’s health system is among the nation’s best

The report found that New Jersey has the second-lowest reported suicide deaths — an average of 7 in every 100,000 population. But New Jersey’s health system performed worst of all states concerning hospital 30-day readmission rates of individuals 65 and older.

These indicators are just a fraction of what the Commonwealth Fund cites as a series of “daunting” future challenges for health systems across the country. From 2019 to 2021, every state has experienced a precipitous spike in preventable deaths, while medical debt has also increased. The findings also show that 60% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 with severe mental health needs were unable to get treatment.

Nationally, myriad health care-related disparities have occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic related to women’s health. Women have struggled to get health care, specifically for reproductive care. And since the pandemic, the report found that women of color experienced increased infant mortality rates.

“The maternal death rate for AIAN (Native American and Alaska Natives) women,” the Commonwealth Fund’s report said, “jumped by nearly 70 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2019 and 2021, while the rate for Black women increased by more than 25 deaths per 100,000, putting them well above other racial and ethnic groups.”

The analysis also concluded that high poverty rates, food insecurity, disparities in insurance coverage, and quality of care were to blame.

Support for WHYY’s coverage of health equity issues comes from the Commonwealth Fund.


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