Utah receives poor marks for adolescent vaccination, women's cancer screenings

Fewer adolescents in Utah get vaccinated than their counterparts in other states, and Utah women receive fewer screenings for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer compared with women nationwide, according to findings released Thursday at the State of Our Health program forum, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

According to the committee, quality gaps in the nation's health care system annually result in 39,000 to 83,000 preventable deaths, as many as 83.1 million sick days and between $2.8 billion and $4.2 billion in medical costs.

The meeting, managed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, aims to raise awareness about inefficiencies in the state's health care system and discuss possible strategies for reducing them.

LaDene Larsen, director of the Utah Department of Health Bureau of Health Promotion, said, "We were doing really well climbing to the national average [of cancer screenings] and then it leveled off.

We're quite disturbed about it." Larsen added, "We're doing some work now and talking to providers and managed care companies to see why that is the case."

Rulon Barlow, director of student health services at Brigham Young University, said the state needs to improve communication "between physicians, clinics and hospitals and create portability between" electronic health record systems (Hamilton, Salt Lake Tribune, 10/26).

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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