Rheumatic Disease Report Card: Raising the Grade on Rheumatology Care in America is a first-of-its-kind report from the American College of Rheumatology and our Simple Tasks public awareness campaign seeks to answer the question, “How easy is it to live with rheumatic disease in my state?”
Use the interactive map below to see your state’s grade. Click on the state to download a fact sheet with state-specific scores.
The full report card gives all of the state scores in each individual category, as well as case studies on key issues impacting the scores and an appendix that provides all the data on how the scores were compiled. See the full Rheumatic Disease Report Card.
Color Guide: green = A; blue = B; purple = C; yellow = D
States received letter grades according to their progress on:
- Providing adequate access to rheumatology care
- Ensuring rheumatic disease care is affordable
- Encouraging healthy lifestyle habits that ease the burden of rheumatic disease
Across the country, improvements are sorely needed to increase the quality of life for people living with rheumatic diseases. Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, only one state – Maryland – received an overall grade of A. The vast majority of states received either a B or C grade, while two states – Alabama and Oklahoma – received a D.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 54 million U.S. adults – or one in four – have a doctor-diagnosed rheumatic disease. Without early intervention and effective treatment from a rheumatologist, rheumatic diseases can cause pain and long-term physical disability, organ damage, and even premature death.
States were graded on a point system and received points based on how they performed on each indicator. Indicators were weighted based on their importance and relevance to the quality of life for Americans living with a rheumatic disease, as determined by experts on the Rheumatic Disease Report Card task force.
For numeric indicators – the number of people per rheumatologist, the percent of residents who do not have health insurance coverage, the prevalence of arthritis – attributable activity limitations among adults, and the percent of adults who are physically inactive – the maximum number of points were awarded to states that ranked in the top quartile, while states ranking in the second quartile received three quarters the maximum amount of points, and so on.
For the indicators tracking state specialty tiering legislation and the presence or absence of a CDC-funded YMCA or NPRA arthritis intervention program, points were assigned on an all-or-nothing basis.
For the step therapy and PBM transparency indicators, which tracked the strength of state legislation in those areas, states were graded on a scale and received partial credit for laws that met certain criteria (see Appendix B).
States were then awarded a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F) in each category based on how many points they earned. States that received zero points in a category received a grade of “F.” States in the bottom quartile of the point distribution received a “D”, the third quartile a “C”, the second a “B”, and states in the top quartile received an “A.” States also received an overall grade based on which quartile their combined final score placed them.