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March 6, 2017

US News picks the 'best states for health care.' How does your state rank?

Daily Briefing

Hawaii is "the best state for health care," according to a new list compiled by U.S. News & World Report.


U.S. News & World Report last week ranked the 50 states by how well they serve their citizens in seven categories, including health care, education, and infrastructure.

For health care, the publication ranked states based on three broad benchmarks:

  • Access to care, which was calculated using six metrics, including health insurance enrollment, adult and child wellness visits, and health care affordability (33 percent); 
  • Health care quality, which was calculated using three metrics: Medicare quality, CMS nursing home citations, and hospital readmission rates (33 percent); and
  • Public health, which was calculated using six metrics, including infant mortality, overall mortality, smoking, suicide, and obesity rates (33 percent).

The highest-, lowest-ranked states for health care

Based on these criteria, the 10 best states for health care are:  

1. Hawaii;

2. Massachusetts;

3. Minnesota;

4. New Hampshire;

5. Iowa;

6. Vermont;

7. Rhode Island;

8. New Jersey;

9. Washington; and

10. California.

There were significant variations among the three areas of evaluation for some top-ranked states. For instance, Massachusetts was ranked third in health care overall—but 15th in health care quality. And New Jersey, which was ranked eighth in health care overall, was ranked 20th in health care quality.

The 10 states with the lowest overall score for health care are:

41. Indiana;

42. Tennessee;

43. Wyoming;

44. Kentucky;

45. Louisiana;

46. West Virginia;

47. Alabama;

48. Oklahoma;

49. Mississippi; and

50. Arkansas.

According to the list, some states with lower overall health care rankings were strong in individual areas. For instance, Alaska, which was ranked 33rd overall in health care, was ranked first in health care quality. You can access the full list here (U.S. News & World Report list, accessed 3/3; U.S. News & World Report list methodology, accessed 3/3).

Learn six ways to 'Washington-proof' your population health strategies

On March 14 at 11:00 a.m. ET, join clinical alignment expert Austin Weaver as he presents six "Washington-proof" population health strategies. Learn about the biggest trends to watch for in 2017, how MACRA will influence your population health decision making, and what you can do to anticipate challenges that lie ahead in the coming year.

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