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article imageBest and worst U.S. states for children’s healthcare identified

By Tim Sandle     Apr 23, 2019 in Health
The U.S. is marking ‘Every Kid Healthy Week’, which runs from April 22. While the nationwide campaign is important, a review of state-by-state data reveals disparity in terms of child welfare, according to WalletHub.
WalletHub is a personal finance site and the company has undertaken a deep dive into the state of child welfare in the U.S., with the results revealed in a report titled “Best & Worst States for Children's Health Care”.
Within the report is a consideration of child welfare from the perspective of quality of services and cost-effectiveness. This takes the form of a comparison of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, using 33 metrics. By children, the definition extends from the new born to those aged 17.
The metrics used include health ratings (with excellent or very good health used to assess those on the upper end of the scale), plus the ratio of pediatricians and family doctors relative to the number of children.
In terms of outcomes, the ten best states for children’s healthcare are:
1 Vermont
2 Massachusetts
3 Rhode Island
4 District of Columbia
5 Connecticut
6 New Hampshire
7 New York
8 California
9 New Jersey
10 Maryland
In contrast, the states assessed as worst for healthcare of children are:
42 Ohio
43 Louisiana
44 Georgia
45 Arkansas
46 Wyoming
47 Texas
48 Indiana
49 Alaska
50 Oklahoma
51 Mississippi
Outside of these takings there are some noteworthy variances. Taking insurance, Massachusetts was found to have the lowest share of uninsured children aged 0 to 19, 1.4 percent. This stands as eight times lower than in Texas, which is recording the highest levels of uninsured at 11 percent.
Taking another measure - most pediatricians per 100,000 residents - the District of Columbia has the most at around 45, which is 25 times more than in Oklahoma, which has the fewest at juts below 2. With obesity rates, Minnesota has the lowest share of obese children at 7.6 percent. This stands at 3.4 times lower than in Mississippi, which carries the highest levels of obesity at 26 percent.
Reviewing the survey results, Dr. Molly Candon of University of Pennsylvania assess the top five indicators of children's healthcare as the share of children with asthma receiving appropriate medication; lower rates of avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions; higher rates of adequate medication management; an assessment of body mass index (for the assessment of obesity); and absenteeism levels from schools.
Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of U.S. National Health Observances. For 2019 it runs April 22-26.
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