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May 23, 2019

The best (and worst) states for health care, according to US News

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    Hawaii is "the best state for health care," according to rankings released last week by U.S. News & World Report.

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    For the health care rankings, U.S. News assessed states based on 16 metrics across three categories:

    • Access to care, which was calculated using six metrics, including health insurance enrollment, adult and child wellness visits, and health care affordability;
    • Health care quality, which was calculated using four metrics, including Medicare quality, nursing home quality, and hospital readmissions; and
    • Public health, which was calculated using six metrics, including mortality, smoking, and obesity rates.

    According the U.S. News, each category comprised one-third of a state's total score.

    The highest-, lowest-ranked states for health care

    Based on those criteria, U.S. News determined the top five states for health care were:

    1. Hawaii;
    2. Massachusetts;
    3. Connecticut;
    4. Washington; and
    5. Rhode Island;

    According to U.S. News, the five states with the lowest overall score for health care were:

    1. Mississippi;
    2. Arkansas;
    3. West Virginia;
    4. Oklahoma; and
    5. Alabama.

    According to U.S. News, some states with lower overall health care rankings performed strong in individual areas. For example, Kentucky ranked 44th overall in health care, but 17th in health care access.

    Similarly, at the top of the list, some states performed noticeably better in some areas. Connecticut ranked first for health care access but 14th for health care quality (U.S. News & World Report rankings, accessed 5/23; U.S. News & World Report rankings methodology, 5/14).

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