Health Care Data Website Unveiled
By Mary Guiden, Staff Writer
Did you know Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have the largest percentages of people without health insurance or that Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York spend the most Medicaid money per person of all the states?
If you didn't know those bits of trivia, the Kaiser Family Foundation can help you track that information and more. Check out the group's new website known as State Health Facts Online. Designed for journalists, policymakers, policy wonks and the concerned citizen, the site covers managed care, health insurance coverage, women's health, minority health and HIV/AIDS.
Why did Kaiser start the site? "Health policy debates are increasingly happening at the state level and we wanted to fill a need for [related] information. We receive tons of calls on a daily basis and the goal was to make the health information easily accessible and to put it in one place," says Kaiser Vice President Larry Levitt.
Kaiser didn't want to re-invent the policy wheel for the project, so the foundation has linked up with several prominent groups to provide statistics, figures and facts. The National Conference of State Legislatures is a partner in the project, the Urban Institute analyzes Census data and organizations like the American Hospital Association help to provide numbers.
Initial reaction to State Health Facts has been positive. Levitt says that the site welcomed more than 4,000 users a day when it was first launched last week. "Legislators, legislative staffers and journalists don't have time to sort through all the information that's out there. Our goal is to provide a wide variety of topics and make it accessible and easy to use. The site will be updated constantly so people can be sure it will be most current," he says.