What is the Quality of Health Care in Your State?

Health care is a major concern for most Americans. The Atlantic reports that the U.S. has the highest rate of “mortality amenable to health care.” These refer to deaths that health care can potentially prevent.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services) the quality of care is based on the degree to which health care services for individuals increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes. Quality rankings are based on a total of four metrics: effectiveness, efficiency, safety and timeliness. US News & World Report reports that health care quality is intrinsically linked to the accessibility of health care, and it contributes heavily to the health of a state’s population.

In the US News & World Report rankings, Hawaii currently holds the Number One spot in healthcare quality. Interestingly, Alaska has the worst health care access in the country but is very high for health care quality (ranked number four) and has among the lowest rates for hospital readmissions and preventable admissions. CNN states that Alaska is in the “eye of the health care reform storm.” A full map of the rankings can be seen below. Quality ranks from shades of red (low quality) to shades of green (high quality).

Southern states, including Louisiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi, can be found in the bottom ten of the list. States outside of the south that are heavily rural (Oklahoma and West Virginia, for example) also rank low on the list. New York is an exception – they have the 13th worst health care quality in the country, one spot better than Alabama but worse than South Carolina and Florida. Even though many states on the bottom of the list are quite rural – quite a few in the top ranks are rural, as well. Idaho, North Dakota, Iowa, and South Dakota occupy the sixth, seventh, ninth, and 11th spots, respectively. The full rankings can be seen below:

Best States for Health Care Quality

Health Care Quality RankStateFewest Hospital ReadmissionsMedicare QualityNursing Home QualityPreventable Admissions
#1 Hawaii117121
#2 Utah31473
#3 Washington71035
#4 Alaska5176
#5 Colorado69117
#6 Idaho224152
#7 North Dakota132228
#8 Oregon1115164
#9 Iowa1532116
#10 Maine1662019
#11 South Dakota812331
#12 Nebraska918917
#13 Rhode Island415123
#14 California30111411
#15 Wisconsin12251814
#16 Arizona143689
#17 Minnesota214543
#18 Vermont3283010
#19 Delaware1033633
#20 Connecticut45131020
#21 New Hampshire31123618
#22 Montana4482412
#23 New Jersey4326424
#24 Kansas18292926
#25 Wyoming26432713
#26 Pennsylvania35163925
#27 Maryland22223827
#28 Ohio28213439
#29 Nevada44283515
#30 Michigan42202632
#31 Massachusetts5072830
#32 Indiana17442538
#33 New Mexico2034498
#34 Florida47191341
#35 South Carolina25423329
#36 Missouri36273735
#37 Illinois34234236
#38 New York48392221
#39 Alabama39351944
#40 Tennessee38313246
#41 North Carolina19404834
#42 Oklahoma23324342
#43 Virginia33474422
#44 Georgia27384637
#45 Texas24415040
#46 Arkansas46453145
#47 West Virginia37304048
#48 Louisiana29374747
#49 Kentucky40464550
#50 Mississippi49494149

Check out the full article and rankings at US News and World Report here.

Image Source: Image, License Summary.

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