Report finds seniors improving in key measures of health

Share this article:

The health of American seniors is improving, and so is the quality of care in U.S. nursing homes, according to findings from the United Health Foundation.

Its second annual America Health Rankings Senior Report found that elderly individuals were more active than the year before, while the percentage of nursing homes with four or five stars (the highest possible) in the federal government's ranking system grew from 42% to 46.8%.

"We commissioned this report to understand and identify ways to improve seniors' health because Americans are living longer and the senior population will double in size over the next 25 years," said Reed Tuckson, M.D., senior medical adviser to United Health Foundation. "It's time to shift our focus from how long Americans are living, to how well we're living.”

Preventable hospital admissions fell from 66.6 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries to 64.9 over the last year.

It also found that Minnesota, Hawaii and New Hampshire are the healthiest states for seniors, while Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are the least healthy. Minnesota's strengths included a high percentage of quality nursing home beds, a high percentage of prescription drug coverage and good availability of home healthcare workers.

The report also identified significant obstacles to seniors' overall health rates. They include obesity and numerous chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

To see the 112-page report with the full rankings, click here. It examines health measures on a national and state-by-state basis across 34 measures of senior health. 


Share this article:

More in News

Nursing home did not warn worker who was taken hostage in active ...

A nurse at a Life Care Centers of America facility in Colorado was not notified that she would be threatened and taken hostage by a gunman as part of an active shooter drill, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Revisions to False Claims Act urged by former deputy AG

A panel of witnesses debated the merits of the False Claims Act before a Judiciary subcommittee meeting Wednesday, with one former attorney general arguing current policy provokes unfair litigation and "coercive" settlements.

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by $750 million next year

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by ...

Medicare skilled nursing facility reimbursements will increase by $750 million next year under a final payment rule announced Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.