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Healthy Metric Releases Report on Primary Care Utilization and the Health of Women of Childbearing Age in Wisconsin

Healthy Metric, a statewide partnership dedicated to advancing health equity in Wisconsin, has released a new report focusing on the health disparities among adult women of childbearing age (18-44) in Wisconsin. The report titled “Primary Care Utilization and the Health of Adult Women of Childbearing Age in Wisconsin” provides critical insights into primary care visits, diabetes A1c control, blood pressure control, and depression screening for this demographic.

The report highlights several key findings:

Primary Care Visits:

In 2022, only about two-thirds of insured adult women of childbearing age had a primary care visit. Substantial disparities were observed across regions and counties. Women in urban underserved areas were the least likely to have primary care visits, while those in rural areas were the most likely.

Diabetes A1c Control:

Diabetes A1c control was generally low, with only slightly more than half of adult women of childbearing age with diabetes achieving control. There was substantial geographic disparity: urban underserved areas had the lowest control rate, while urban advantaged areas had the highest rate. White women had the highest rate of A1c control, and Black women had the lowest rate.

Blood Pressure Control:

Approximately 1 in 4 adult women of childbearing age with hypertension in urban areas had poor blood pressure control. Rates were slightly better in rural advantaged areas but remained suboptimal. White women had the highest rate of blood pressure control, while Black women had the lowest rate.

Depression Screening:

Depression screening rates were lowest in urban advantaged areas and highest in urban underserved areas. Asian/Pacific Islander and Black women had the lowest screening rates, while White women had the highest rate.

Healthy Metric’s work is supported through a three-year, $3 million grant awarded jointly in 2021 by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) and The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP). This collaboration brings together the two medical schools, the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), and the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI), the largest private medical research institute in Wisconsin.

Data is an important tool to understand trends in health outcomes and care in Wisconsin. However, it is just one component in identifying and addressing health disparities. It is imperative to identify the areas where disparities exist to develop targeted interventions to eliminate them. Health systems participating in our project responded to health disparities by meeting monthly to develop targeted initiatives and share challenges and successes. There is more work to be done to reduce preventable health disparities in Wisconsin and improve care for all residents. Healthy Metric, with its diverse coalition of medical schools, healthcare organizations, and research institutes, is at the forefront of this effort, striving to create a healthier and more equitable future for all Wisconsinites.

To access the full report, please visit:

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