Georgia among 10 worst U.S. states for health care

Twelve of the 13 worst states in WalletHub’s analysis are in the South

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COVID and Monkeypox might be getting most of the headlines these days, but Americans are still experiencing broken bones, cancer and other health needs.

Getting care for these needs can vary depending on where you live, however.

“Finding good health care at the right price point should be a priority for all Americans during the current public health situation,” WalletHub wrote. “However, even without any extra costs that might arise from the coronavirus pandemic, the average American spends more than $12,500 per year on personal health care, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s a daunting statistic considering that many Americans have already been hurt financially by the impact of the pandemic.”

To determine 2022′s best and worst states for health care, the financial website compared the 50 states and District of Columbia across three key dimensions: cost, access and outcomes.

It then evaluated those dimensions using 42 relevant metrics, with each metric graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best health care at the most reasonable cost.

When the numbers were tallied, Rhode Island came out on top, with a score of 65.12. In 51st place was Mississippi with a score of 40.86.

Twelve of the bottom 13 states are in the South, with Alaska being the exception at No. 41. Among those 12 was Georgia, which ranked No. 43, making it the ninth worst U.S. state for health care with a score of 46.21.

In the three dimensions, the Peach State ranked No. 28 for cost, No. 41 for access and No. 43 for outcomes.

Among the key metrics, Georgia finished:

  • 16th – percent of medical residents retained
  • 42nd – Hospital beds per capita
  • 42nd – Physicians per capita
  • 42nd – percent of adults with no dental visit in past year
  • 45th – percent of insured children
  • 45th – percent of residents age 12+ who are fully vaccinated
  • 47th – percent of insured adults
  • 48th – Dentists per capita

According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. lags behind other wealthy nations on health coverage, life expectancy and disease burden, which measures longevity and quality of life, WalletHub reported. However, it added, health care access has improved for people in worse health, and cost growth has slowed.

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