The state’s biggest downfall is the affordability and accessibility of its healthcare, which is measured through factors like the number of adults who are uninsured or go without care.
The study measured states’ health care system performance through standardized scores on more than 40 performance indicators that were grouped into four categories: access and affordability, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and health habits of residents.
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This low ranking is not surprising, given that more than half of Georgia’s 159 counties do not have enough primary care doctors to serve all of their residents.
Even if residents have physical access to doctors, Georgia has some of the highest healthcare prices in the nation and almost two in five Georgians are low income.
The study concluded that states could increase access to care by expanding Medicaid eligibility and improving individual insurance options through reinsurance plans.
The study also recommended that states reduce health care costs through reform bills, such as those recently introduced in congress, that would pay providers at or near Medicare rates.
Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, and Connecticut ranked highest among the states for health care performance. Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, and Arkansas ranked the worst.