Health Care Rankings

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Health Care Rankings by State.

How States Rank on Health Care
Unhealthiest States In America 2008

How States Rank on Health Care


Hawaii leads and Oklahoma lags on a new state scorecard about health system performance.

The scorecard is the first of its kind from the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation focused on health care.

The Commonwealth Fund rated states based on 32 indicators, including access, quality, cost, insurance, preventive care, potentially avoidable hospital visits, and premature death (death before age 75).

The top five states in order are Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

The bottom five states are Nevada, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

A full list of state rankings follows later in this article.

Wide Range

The top-rated states scored two to three times higher than the lowest-ranked states.

"Where you live really matters in terms of your experience with the American health care system," Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis told reporters at a news conference.

"The wide variation and gaps between leading and lagging states add up to substantial human and economic cost for the nation," says Cathy Schoen, the Commonwealth Fund's senior vice president for research and evaluation.

Schoen says that if all states equaled the top-rated states, there would be 90,000 fewer premature deaths before age 75 from conditions such as diabetes, infection, respiratory disease, and treatable cancers. In addition, 22 million more adults and children would be insured, cutting U.S. uninsured rates in half.

Room for Improvement

Every state has room for improvement -- even those leading the scorecard -- notes Schoen, who worked on the scorecard with other experts.

"Each of the top states has some indicators in the bottom half of the state distribution," Schoen says. In other words, though those states may rank highly overall, they're not acing every category in the scorecard.

Insurance tracked with the states' ratings.

"In general, states that did well in the overall rankings had the lowest rates of uninsured in the nation, and states that did poorly had the highest rates of uninsured in the nation," Schoen says.

But high ratings didn't always mean high costs.

"Indeed, some states have high quality and lower cost," Schoen says. She adds that "high costs tend to track higher rates of potentially preventable hospital use and 30-day re-admission rates, indicating a need for a focus on prevention and primary care and care coordination."

State Rankings

Here is the list of how the states and Washington, D.C., ranked overall. States with the same ranking are listed together.

.

Healthcare.

Healthiest*

Comments*

1

Hawaii

8

2

Iowa

6

3

New Hampshire

2

4

Vermont

3

5

Maine

4

6

Rhode Island

10

7

Connecticut

11

8

Massachusetts

5

9

Wisconsin

14

10

South Dakota

11

Minnesota

1

12

Nebraska

7

13

North Dakota

9

14

Delaware

42

Delaware high rate of new AIDS cases and sexually transmitted diseases.

15

Pennsylvania

16

Michigan

17

Montana

18

Washington

13

19

Maryland

20

Kansas

15

21

Wyoming

22

Colorado

23

New York

24

Ohio

25

Utah

12

26

Alaska

39

Equally unfortunate is Alaska's suicide rate. It's the highest in the nation. Alaska also has the second-highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

27

Arizona

41

28

New Jersey

29

Virginia

30

Idaho

31

North Carolina

32

Washington, D.C.

33

South Carolina

45

high number of new AIDS cases and high rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

34

Oregon

35

New Mexico

49

It has the third-highest teenage birth rate, poor prenatal care, high rates of suicide and poor health insurance coverage. The availability of hospital beds and primary care is also poor.

36

Illinois

27

Missouri

28

Indiana

39

California

40

Tennessee

37

41

Alabama

43

is in the top five for low birthweight babies, age-adjusted death rate, infant mortality, sexually transmitted diseases, poor primary care access, obesity and non-exercising adults.

42

Georgia

46

It ranks fourth for the number of new AIDS cases reported and fifth for the number of sexually transmitted diseases.

43

Florida

47

third for new AIDS cases.

44

West Virginia

45

Kentucky

46

Louisiana

50

47

Nevada

48

is the No. 1 worst state for prenatal care and has the second-highest suicide rate in America.

48

Arkansas

38

49

Texas

40

50

Mississippi

51

Mississippi has the highest rate of teenage births in the nation, the highest age-adjusted death rate, the highest infant mortality rate and the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases. It also has the largest precentage of obese adults and adults who do not exercise.

51

Oklahoma

44

Its high teenage birth rate, poor prenatal care, high age-adjusted death rate and high percentage of people not covered by health insurance are just some of the factors keeping it there.

Legend: * - Unhealthiest states

Source: By Miranda Hitti, The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High-Performance Health System: "Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance," June 2007. Karen Davis, president, The Commonwealth Fund. Cathy Schoen, senior vice president for research and evaluation, The Commonwealth Fund. www.webmd.com/news/20070613/how-states-rank-on-health-care?ecd=wnl_erd_061607

Unhealthiest States In America 2008


That's what publisher CQ Press reveals in its 16th annual list.

Twenty-one factors from infant mortality to obesity to cancer rates are compiled for the rankings.

Click through our gallery to see which 15 states rank as the unhealthiest, then check out the 15 healthiest.

 

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