until now Another yearMississippi’s health system performance is considered the worst in the nation.
Comprehensive Annual report Based on the latest data from the Commonwealth Fund’s Private Health Care Research Foundation in 2021, it ranked Mississippi as one of the worst states for several health categories, including reproductive and women’s health and racial health equity.
The fund has. Permanently found Severe health disparities in Mississippi and ranking the state near the bottom or last on several measures used to evaluate health system performance.
The results aren’t shocking to Dr. Daniel Edney, Mississippi’s state health officer. As head of the state health department, he knows firsthand the health care challenges Mississippians face.
“If we had 60 states, we would be 60th in health,” he said. “Someone has to be 50, but it doesn’t have to be us.”
In terms of Mississippi’s health care system, some of the worst categories are the state’s preterm birth rate, infant mortality rate, breast and cervical cancer deaths, and premature death.
The latter category has worsened since last year’s report, in which the fund linked the country’s decline in life expectancy to the COVID-19 pandemic. People of color have suffered the greatest decline. Between 2019 and 2021, the avoidable death rate in Mississippi rose more than 35 percent.
The scorecard, for the first time, includes measures to assess the government’s reproductive care and women’s health performance, and the results show that women across the country struggle to access adequate health care. Those problems were especially pronounced in Mississippi. The only state that scored worse was New Mexico.
Mortality rates for women of reproductive age generally increased in all states, including Mississippi, and particularly among American Indian/Alaska Native and black women. In the year Between 2019 and 2021, Mississippi’s maternal mortality rate is high, with 50.3 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Many of the deaths may be due to inequitable access to universal health care and quality disparities by race and ethnicity, even in the same hospitals, the report said. Growing “maternity care deserts” and lack of insurance coverage contribute to the problem.
Additionally, Mississippi ranks at the bottom when considering health care access and affordability.
Edney has long emphasized that maternal and infant mortality is one of the biggest health care challenges in the state.
“It’s very important … that we take seriously the lowest life expectancy, the highest infant mortality rate, and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and stop accepting it as our lot,” Edney said. . “We must be willing to do whatever it takes to get off the bottom line in good health.”
According to Commonwealth Fund experts, postnatal care is critical to improving reproductive health. Mississippi extended postpartum Medicaid coverage for one year this legislative session.
But experts say it will take more than a single policy change to turn around the state’s health care woes.
The state health department, in conjunction with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, recently created a program that sends nurses to maternity homes for high-risk pregnancies. While the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program currently serves about 700 people across the state, Edney said it’s not enough.
However, Ed Earlier Mississippi said today He did not receive the state’s financial support this year to hire more nurses for the program.
The report found that 22.4 percent of women in Mississippi did not receive prenatal care during the first trimester. An Mississippi Today investigation The state Medicaid department, the largest maternity funder in the state, does not track mothers when they go to their first prenatal appointment.
Many of the states that experienced some of the worst health outcomes did not have Medicaid expansion, including Mississippi. Republican state leaders have remained steadfast in their opposition to policy change.
And now, as the state of Magnolia begins to feel the complex effects of rolling back abortion rights, Collapsing health care system and the Solving policies in the era of the epidemic Extended insurance coverage, the situation may be ready to worsen.