Top 5 States with the Best Healthcare Systems

A recent analysis may provide states with aspects of healthcare that need improvement.

High medical costs can lead to financial strains that cause some patients to go without needed care, which then leads to adverse health outcomes.

Despite efforts to lower healthcare costs through the Affordable Care Act and other organizations, these costs are still on the rise. Analysts at WalletHub investigated healthcare systems across the United States regarding the relationship between treatment, spending, and geographic location.

They examined healthcare costs, access, and outcomes for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state was evaluated on 29 metrics for their healthcare systems, and were assigned a corresponding number.

The weight of the 3 categories totaled 100, which the researchers then ranked. Some states with higher costs do not necessarily have higher quality, the analysis uncovered.

Findings also show the shortcomings of each healthcare system on a state level, and can present them with aspects that need change.

The 5 highest ranking states:

1. Minnesota

With the top ranking, Minnesota earned 67.37 out of 100 points. They ranked 11th in terms of healthcare costs. However, the state’s system seems to redeem themselves in healthcare access and health outcomes, where they scored 6 and 3, respectively.

2. Maryland

Not far behind Minnesota was Maryland, with a total score of 64.36. While they scored low in access (19) and outcomes (29), the state earned the top spot for healthcare costs, which put them in second place overall.

3. South Dakota

South Dakota was ranked third with 63.8 points, and ranked 18th when it came to healthcare costs. They earned another low rank of 13 when it comes to health outcomes. Their high rank of third in healthcare access offset shortcomings in the other categories.

4. Iowa

Following close behind South Dakota was Iowa, with a total score of 63.89 points. They ranked fifth in the healthcare costs category, but 24th in the healthcare access category. Iowa also ranked 11th in health outcomes. While the costs may be low in this state, access and outcomes may be a problem.

5. Utah

Utah came in fifth with a total of 63.85 points, and ranked 8 in healthcare costs. However, much like Iowa, low scores in the other categories could present a barrier to care for many patients. This state ranked 32nd in healthcare access, and 6th in health outcomes.