We know that where you live matters: There are huge disparities in health and costs across the country.
The uninsured rate in Texas is six times higher than in Massachusetts. You’re four times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital in Maryland or New Jersey than in Hawaii. One-third of low-income adults in Texas forgo medical care because of cost, but only 9 percent in Vermont do. Alaska spends twice as much on health care per person as Utah does.
If all states were to improve to the level of top performers, we’d see gains across the country: 20 million more people insured and 14 million fewer skipping care because of cost; 12 million more adults screened for cancer and 500,000 more children vaccinated; 124,000 fewer hospital readmissions and 90,000 fewer premature deaths.
How can we get there? Although it’s important to learn from states at the top, it’s perhaps more instructive to see what states with large improvements are doing, or have done, to get better.