Say ‘Aloha’ to the best health care


It probably should come as no surprise that Hawaii, which has been named the healthiest state for 5 consecutive years, is now being honored for having the best health care by personal finance website WalletHub.

The state’s high scores in two of the three broad dimensions of health care – first in outcomes and third in cost – used in the WalletHub analysis allowed it to overcome its ranking of 42nd in the third dimension, access, and finish ahead of Iowa and Minnesota, which tied for second. New Hampshire earned a fourth-place finish and the District of Columbia was fifth, courtesy of its first-place finish in the cost dimension, WalletHub reported. Maine, which finished 14th overall, was No. 1 in access.

The state in 51st place is Louisiana, which placed in the top 5 in both cancer and heart disease rates. Mississippi was credited with the 50th-best health care system, just behind Alaska (49), Arkansas (48), North Carolina (47), and Georgia (46). The lowest ranking in each dimension went to Alaska (cost), Texas (access), and Mississippi (outcomes), according to WalletHub’s analysts.

Which states offer the best and worst health care?
Those three dimensions of health care consisted of 35 individual metrics. The cost dimension’s five metrics included cost of medical visits and average monthly insurance premium. The access dimension consisted of 18 metrics, such as hospital beds per capita and share of adults with no personal physician. The outcomes dimension included 12 metrics, among them life expectancy and share of nonimmunized children aged 19-35 months. “Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best health care at the most reasonable cost,” they wrote.

A closer look at some of the individual metrics shows that the District of Columbia has the most physicians per capita and Idaho has the fewest, Medicare acceptance is highest among physicians in North Dakota and lowest in Hawaii, and infant mortality is lowest in New Hampshire and highest in Mississippi, according to the WalletHub analysis, which was based on data from 19 sources, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Social Science Research Council.

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