There has been a lot of debate about what is wrong with healthcare in America and what to do to fix it. But, until someone comes up with a plan that can give everyone fair and equal access to doctors and other medical professionals, you may want to know how access to healthcare in your state stacks up to the others.
Here is a list of the 10 states that have the best healthcare, followed by the states with the worst.
The list was compiled by MoneyRates.com. To make their determination of the states with the best and worst healthcare in 2019, the survey took into account:
- Health-insurance coverage – based on the percentage of each state’s population covered by health insurance
- Longevity – based on state death rates adjusted for age differences in state populations
- Child-vaccination coverage – based on the percentage of children in each state who have received comprehensive vaccinations
- Infant survival – based on the childbirth mortality rates in each state
- Nursing-home capacity – based on the percentage of nursing-home capacity currently available
- Hospital capacity – based on the percentage of hospital beds available
- Patient-care doctors – based on the number of patient-care doctors per capita
The 10 States With the Best Healthcare in 2019
Conditions here are rated as robust in five out of seven categories, earning Massachusetts the best average ranking. Still, even in the best state for healthcare, not everything is ideal. Hospital capacity is constrained relative to demand, earning Massachusetts a critical classification in that category.
Four of seven categories earned Colorado a robust rating, and the state was not below average in any category.
Like Colorado, Vermont earned robust ratings in four of seven categories; but a relative shortage of available hospital beds earned it a frail classification in that category.
While Wisconsin was only rated as robust in two of seven categories, it was either average or healthy in all the other five.
A rating of frail for available nursing-home capacity was the only below-average grade for Minnesota.
- (tie) Nebraska
Consistency helped Nebraska make the top ten, as it was rated average or better in all seven categories.
- (tie) Washington
Like Nebraska, Washington made the top ten by delivering average or better results in all seven categories.
Ratings of robust in three of seven categories helped Iowa, though its one weakness was a frail rating for the number of patient-care doctors per capita.
The good news for Hawaii is that it is number one in longevity and also rated as robust for health insurance coverage. The only downside is that low availability of hospital beds earned it a critical rating in that category.
The overall ranking for Connecticut was pulled up by robust ratings for longevity and patient-care doctors per capita. However, the state does have some capacity issues with a frail rating for nursing-home availability and a critical rating for availability of hospital beds.
The 10 States With the Worst Healthcare in 2019
Ranking worst overall should be no surprise considering Mississippi was dead last in three out of seven categories: longevity, infant survival, and patient-care doctors per capita.
- South Carolina
The best grade for South Carolina was average for available hospital capacity; ratings in all other six categories were either frail or critical.
Though it earned a robust rating for child vaccinations, three critical and two frail ratings in other categories were enough to pull Georgia down.
Like Georgia, Alabama earned a robust rating for child vaccinations, but fell down in most of the other categories.
- West Virginia
There are a couple pieces of good news for healthcare in West Virginia, as the state was rated healthy for insurance coverage and available hospital capacity. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome two critical and two frail ratings.
- South Dakota
The biggest problem here was ranking last for available nursing-home capacity; low hospital capacity also helped earn the state a critical rating.
Oddly enough, Oklahoma is one of the five top states for both nursing-home capacity and hospital capacity relative to demand. Unfortunately, ranking in the bottom ten for the five other categories was enough to drag it down into the bottom ten overall.
This is one of the worst states for health insurance coverage, earning it a critical rating for that category. Everything else was rated average or frail.
- (tie) Tennessee
The one critical rating for Tennessee came from being one of the worst states for longevity. It earned a healthy rating for nursing-home capacity, but that wasn’t enough to overcome its weaker categories.
- (tie) Nevada
Though it earned a rating of healthy for both infant survival and nursing-home capacity, its overall ranking was pulled down by critical ratings in the categories of insurance coverage, hospital capacity, and patient-care doctors per capita.
Taking note of some of these stark contrasts in healthcare conditions can help you make some informed decisions — whether you are a recent graduate deciding where to look for a job, an older American considering where to retire, or simply curious about how robust your state’s healthcare system is as compared to other states.
One more thing. The sobering conclusion by the researchers was that wherever you live, chances are you’re going to see healthcare expenses continue to rise in 2019 and into 2020.