AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – If you are looking for a call center for a major US city, Austin might be the place to call.
But a major new report suggests that it is not the most reliable location for people needing medical care in the US, either.
A new report from McKinsey & Co., which analyzed data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, finds that the four biggest states by population and population density accounted for 73.6 percent of calls for emergency services in 2017.
That ranks as the third-worst performance in the country.
“When we look at the top three states for emergency response, the biggest reason we have a big problem with Austin is that it’s not a good call center,” said Eric Holthaus, senior director of global health and strategy at McKinsey.
“In fact, in the top five states for call volume, Texas and Florida rank at the bottom of the pack.”
For example, in 2017, Texas had the third worst response time of any state for non-emergency care, with a response time rate of just 3.3 minutes.
It was the fifth-worst in the nation.
In New York, the call volume for nonemergency emergency care is lower than the rest of the country, but calls for medical services are higher.
The number of nonemerging emergency calls in New York City dropped by more than 90 percent in the decade from 2008 to 2017.
The report, “What We Do” for the United States, looks at the availability and effectiveness of a wide range of health and social services and how they are delivered.
McKinsey also found that the states that have the worst performance in emergency response are those that have historically been among the most segregated.
Texas is the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the United Sates, with African Americans making up more than half of the population.
That includes the majority of the city’s population.
It is also the only state with the highest percentage of white residents.
The state’s top three counties, Austin and San Antonio, were also among the top 10 in terms of population, with San Antonio coming in at No. 6 and Austin coming in with No. 7.
Texas has also been ranked the most dangerous state for the number of deaths due to firearm-related injuries and deaths due, or related to, a firearm.
“We’ve seen these trends before,” Holthaux said.
“We’ve just seen them happen over time, and we have to recognize it.”
The McKinsey report found that in addition to the racial and ethnic makeup of the state, Texas is also plagued by the “staggering and persistent gap between the health and socioeconomic needs of the people of Texas.”
For instance, the report found there are fewer people in need of medical services than there were just three years ago, and there are a large number of people with no access to health care and a high rate of underemployment.
In addition, the McKinsey study found that healthcare and other social services in Texas are extremely expensive, with an average of more than $1,600 per person per year.
“The health and economic disparities that have been observed in Texas for a long time have been magnified in the last five years,” Holathaus said.
McKinsey’s findings came as the U.S. Senate passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) legislation, which would repeal a slew of Obamacare regulations and reduce costs for consumers.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill later this week.
The McKinys report said the “disparities in health care access, access to care and care delivery” are compounded by “the growing racial and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare, with health care costs being more expensive for minorities and Hispanics than for whites and nonwhites.”
The study said there were also disparities in medical care that are not just financial, but also in access to preventive services, treatment and rehabilitation, mental health services, family planning services and access to primary and secondary care.
“These disparities are compounded when the health system is not designed to deliver services at a scale of need,” Holethaus said, adding that it makes it difficult for communities to provide the services needed.