Pennsylvania came in 18th overall on The Commonwealth Fund's first-ever assessment of how well states meet the needs of their low-income populations.
The assessment analyzed 30 indicators of access, prevention and quality, potentially avoidable hospital use and health outcomes, documenting what the Fund called “sharp health care disparities among states.”
“If all states could reach the benchmarks set by leading states, an estimated 86,000 fewer people would die prematurely and tens of millions more adults and children would receive timely preventive care,” the report said. “Moreover, many benchmarks for low-income populations in the top states were better than average and better than those for higher-income or more-educated individuals in the lagging states.”
The report concluded that nationally, a lack of timely, affordable access to care — in particular, primary care — is undermining health outcomes and contributing to higher medical costs.
In the four main categories, Pennsylvania ranked in the top quartile on prevention and treatment, in the second quartile on access and affordability, and in the third quartile on potentially avoidable hospital use and healthy lives.
Hawaii topped the overall rankings, and bottom place went to Mississippi.