Healthy Living: States with the Best and Worst Health Care
You may already have an opinion, but a new survey ranks state health care from best to worst.
While everyone enjoys checking out rankings, the difference between the “best” and the “worst” health care can hurt or even kill you, or a family member. It is no joke to learn your state falls well below average in healthcare outcomes.
In this survey, a personal finance company made a careful assessment using 44 different metrics, each of which had a 100-point rating scale. These metrics were applied within three basic categories, cost, access, and outcomes. While that may seem pretty broad, these three factors bear on the decisions that Americans make every day about their health care. Where can they get care, how much does it cost—and can I expect that the outcome will likely be good?
Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s take a look at some of the measures within each category:
- Cost: This metric looks at the cost of a medical visit, an inpatient admission, dental visit, out of pocket and insurance spending, and how many adults go without medical care due to cost, among other factors.
- Access: This factor looks at issues that include the state health infrastructure, number of beds, quality of the public health system, number of healthcare providers (includes physicians, nurses, and many other practitioners) per capita, emergency response time, emergency department wait times, number of insured people (including adults and children).
- Outcome: This important category is broken down into maternal and infant mortality rates, readmission rates, patients discharged without homecare instructions, numbers of adults who have no medical or dental care, the number of non-immunized children, number of people with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among other factors.
These very serious metrics spell the difference between those in this country who have access to quality healthcare and those that do not. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst:
- Top ten states with the best quality health care: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, North Dakota, Vermont, Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, ad South Dakota
- The ten states that represent the worst quality health care in the US: Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska
- States with the lowest infant mortality rates: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Massachusetts, California
- States with the highest infant mortality rates: West Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
In the survey, Maryland came in at number 16. This survey speaks truth to the sub-standard quality of care suffered by many Americans across this country. By taking a hard look at real factors that we all consider when assessing how to maintain our health, the survey offers thoughtful perspective on what to watch out for in your state or region.
The worst time to wonder about the quality of your healthcare is after you suffer a medication or surgical error that causes serious injury. An informed healthcare consumer asks questions, understands the health advice they are given, and keeps tabs on costs. Even then, medical mistakes happen—if they happen to you, reach out to our law firm, we can help.
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