Study: Health improving in Minnesota, but disparities remain

A study by Minnesota Community Measurement found Minnesotans who are white and who live in the Twin Cities area tend to be healthier than residents of rural Minnesota.

The third annual health equity study indicates American Indians and African Americans had the worst health outcomes.

"Minnesota is one of the healthiest state's in the nation," said Jim Chase, president of Minnesota Community Measurement. "But, at the same time we have some clear and persistent inequities in health outcomes for people and our medical groups across the state."

The study also found:

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• Patients from large medical groups in the metro area generally had higher rates of optimal care.

• Hispanic patients generally had poorer health care outcomes than non-Hispanic patients.

• Patients born in Asian countries tend to have better health outcomes than patients in other groups, however ...

• Patients born in Laos, Somalia and Mexico generally had poorer outcomes than other groups.

The report shows how health services vary by medical group across the state. There are also examples of what groups are doing to improve their patients' health.

"We are seeing improvement for people of color and people who come from different countries in the results," said Chase. "But the gaps aren't going down enough. We are seeing several groups now trying to use this data to improve care for their patients."