Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to health care, some states are haves and some are have- nots. That's the central conclusion of a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that conducts health care research.
The report, "Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance," compiled data on 32 different indicators-- everything from obesity rates and the number of uninsured to percentages of patients receiving preventive care.
"Leading states consistently outperform lagging states on multiple indicators and dimensions," the report notes. The top five states are Hawaii, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Mississippi and Oklahoma tied for worst, with Texas, Arkansas, Nevada and Louisiana also performing poorly.
The authors cite dramatic improvements that would occur if the worst states matched the performance of the best ones: The uninsured population would be cut in half, there would be 90,000 fewer deaths for those younger than age 75 and billions of dollars would be saved from reduced hospitalizations.
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