Health care in the time of COVID-19

The best and worst states for health care in 2020

Massachusetts and Minnesota offer their residents the best overall health care, according to WalletHub, which examined each state’s readiness for COVID-19 alongside the usual factors.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., many have argued that it has exposed the structural flaws of the nation’s health care system, from an over-reliance on fee-for-service payment to a lack of EHR interoperability to inequities between wealthy and underserved hospitals.

The degree to which these flaws have impacted health care during the pandemic is different in every state, according to WalletHub, which released its ranking of the best and worst states for health care last month. The ranking takes myriad factors into account but primarily focuses on cost, access and outcomes. To determine how each state performs in these three areas, researchers examined things like out-of-pocket medical spending, hospital beds per capita, emergency room wait times, life expectancy and infant mortality rates.

Researchers also gave extra weight to each state’s health infrastructure for COVID-19, which WalletHub ranked in May.

Below are WalletHub’s 10 best and worst states for health care in 2020 along with two other health system metrics WalletHub shared: the states that retain the most and least residents and the states with the most and least physicians per capita.

Top 10 best states for health care, according to WalletHub

1. Massachusetts

2. Minnesota

3. Rhode Island

4. District of Columbia

5. North Dakota

6. Vermont

7. Colorado

8. Iowa

9. Hawaii

10. South Dakota

Top 10 worst states for health care, according to WalletHub

1. Georgia

2. Louisiana

3. Alabama

4. North Carolina

5. Mississippi

6. Arkansas

7. Tennessee

8. South Carolina

9. Texas

10. Alaska

Top 5 states that retain the highest percentage of medical residents

1. California

2. Alaska

3. Montana

4. Texas

5. Florida

Top 5 states that retain the lowest percentage of medical residents

1. District of Columbia

2 (tie). Wyoming

2 (tie). New Hampshire

4. Delaware

5. Rhode Island

Top 5 states with the most physicians per capita

1. District of Columbia

2. Massachusetts

3. Rhode Island

4. New York

5. Connecticut

Top 5 states with the fewest physicians per capita

1. Idaho

2. Wyoming

3. Nevada

4. Montana

5. Mississippi

Related reading:

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