States with the Best, Worst Healthcare

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A new analysis from WalletHub measured the impact of geography on the treatment and pocketbooks of patients across the United States in an effort to determine the best state healthcare systems.

The company compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions, including healthcare costs, access and outcomes. Analysis was performed using a data set of 29 key metrics graded on a 100-point scale. Metric examples included cost of medical visit, out-of-pocket medical spending and patient hospital-readmittance rate.

According to the report, below are states ranked in terms of overall healthcare scores, from best to worst.

  1. Minnesota — 67.37
  2. Maryland — 64.36
  3. South Dakota — 63.98
  4. Iowa — 63.89
  5. Utah — 63.85
  6. Kansas — 63.16
  7. Hawaii — 62.71
  8. Vermont — 62.44
  9. District of Columbia — 61.56
  10. Nebraska — 60.95
  11. Pennsylvania — 59.77
  12. Colorado — 59.74
  13. Virginia — 59.07
  14. Maine — 58.82
  15. Massachusetts — 58.33
  16. Michigan — 58.00
  17. Illinois — 57.72
  18. Connecticut — 57.39
  19. North Dakota — 56.63
  20. New Hampshire — 56.30
  21. Arizona — 56.09
  22. Rhode Island — 54.99
  23. Missouri — 54.96
  24. Wisconsin — 54.69
  25. Delaware — 54.45
  26. California — 54.42
  27. Montana — 54.05
  28. Idaho — 53.97
  29. Ohio — 53.85
  30. Indiana — 53.77
  31. Oregon — 53.57
  32. Tennessee — 53.49
  33. Texas — 53.23
  34. New Mexico — 53.03
  35. New York — 52.46
  36. Kentucky — 52.41
  37. Washington — 52.03
  38. Florida — 51.78
  39. New Jersey — 50.78
  40. North Carolina — 50.45
  41. Wyoming — 49.71
  42. Alabama — 49.49
  43. South Carolina — 48.80
  44. Oklahoma — 48.76
  45. West Virginia — 48.39
  46. Georgia — 47.69
  47. Arkansas — 46.20
  48. Nevada — 45.86
  49. Mississippi — 43.98
  50. Louisiana — 42.05
  51. Alaska — 39.56

Methodology

Health Care Costs – Total Points: 33.33

Cost of Medical Visit: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)

Cost of Dental Visit: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)

Average Monthly Insurance Premium: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)

Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of individuals younger than age 65 with high out-of-pocket medical spending relative to their annual income.

Health Care Access – Total Points: 33.33

Public Hospital System Ranking: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Hospital Beds per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Average Emergency-Room Wait Time: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Physicians per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Nurse Practitioners per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Physician Assistants per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Dentists per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Percentage of Medical Residents Retained: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Physician Medicare Acceptance Rates: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Physician Medicaid Acceptance Rates: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Adult Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 with health insurance coverage.

Youth Health-Insurance Coverage: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 with health insurance coverage.

Telehealth: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Note: This metric indicates the presence of telehealth in the state.

Number of UCAOA-Certified* Urgent-Care Centers per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Note: UCAOA stands for Urgent Care Association of America.

Number of Retail Clinics per Capita: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Number of Patient Encounters per Capita in Federally Qualified Community Health Centers*: Full Weight (~2.08 Points)

Note: “Federally Qualified Health Centers,” or FQHCs, are defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “all organizations receiving grants under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS). FQHCs qualify for enhanced reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other benefits.”

Health Outcomes – Total Points: 33.33

Infant Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Child Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Maternal Mortality Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Patient Hospital-Readmittance Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of patients readmitted within 30 days following discharge from a hospital.

Life Expectancy at Birth: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)

Cancer Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Heart-Disease Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Percentage of At-Risk Adults Without a Routine Doctor Visit in the Past Two Years: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

Percentage of Adults Without a Dental Visit in the Past Year: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

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