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Health Care Quality Varies in Kansas City

By Elana Gordon

Kansas City, MO – One third of women insured by Medicare in Kansas City are not getting recommended mammograms. And, African Americans with diabetes in Kansas City are more than 4 times as likely as whites to have a limb amputated. Those are some of the findings released this week by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. The research project is part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative aimed at improving health care quality throughout the U.S. Stephen Salansky is director of Research Medical Center's Family Residency Program and is a board member of the Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium. He says there's been some improvements in the quality of health care in Kansas City, but that he's not surprised by the findings.

Salansky: I would say it's not necessarily new information for us on the healthcare side because we know this, we've seen this kind of data before, we can look at national data for physicians and patients across the country and we've seen this for years now that we're not achieving the types of care that we can achieve. I think what it points to the fact that we have work to do still.

Salansky also says the Kansas City consortium is starting a campaign that's being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to educate patients and healthcare providers about health care quality.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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