Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut are among the states with the best health care systems in the country, according to an annual report report released Thursday which also looked at how each state has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
The findings of the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes high-performance health care in the United States, were determined by studying more than 50 health parameters in categories such as access, quality, costs, disparities and the results. For the first time, the foundation also rated states on their handling of COVID-19, with metrics including vaccination rates, hospital capacity and excess mortality rates from the start of the pandemic through March this year. .
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Hawaii shone brightest, ranking No. 1 both overall and on the pandemic response-specific list. The state had the lowest excess death rate, at 110 per 100,000 population. It also placed in the top three in all other categories except one: prevention and treatment.
Massachusetts was just second overall and had the highest scores in four categories, such as racial and ethnic equity. According to the foundation, there was quite a bit of distance between him and the No. 3 ranked state, Connecticut.
These are the best performing state healthcare systems, according to the Commonwealth Fund:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York
Unsurprisingly, Commonwealth Fund analysts found that states that have historically performed well in its ranking “have also performed well as the pandemic has unfolded,” both in terms of usual health measures and new pandemic-specific measures. In addition to Hawaii, states that fit this description include Maine, Washington and Vermont – which was highlighted in the report for its strong deployment of vaccination against COVID-19.
The link between global and coronavirus-specific performance also applies to states at the bottom of the list. Lowest ranked states overall – Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginiawhat was greeted for his early vaccination efforts before eventually fall behind others – also had among the worst scores in the pandemic response category. Texas and Missouri rounded the last five, while Alabama – with the lowest COVID-19 response score – ranked No. 46. Southeastern and Southwestern states generally rank lowest.
The worst performing public health systems, according to the Commonwealth Fund:
49. West Virginia
44 (tie). Arkansas
44 (tie). Georgia
41 (tie). Kentucky
41 (tie). Nevada
41 (tie). Wyoming
The report also highlights that COVID-19 has had far-reaching health effects. Every state has seen “higher than expected” death rates from all causes since the start of the pandemic. Of particular concern is the increase in premature deaths from preventable causes such as diabetes and drug overdoses. In a related way, Nevada and Wyoming had the lowest scores in the prevention and treatment category of the ranking.