A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

United Health Rankings: We're #9

United Health Rankings: We're #9

November 5, 2007

Each year, the United Health Foundation produces state rankings on a variety of health, health care, and social indicators -- click here for the Massachusetts data and for access to the full report. This year, we're #9 among the 50 states, down from #7 in 2006. The relative slip is pretty minor. The report shows some of our strengths and some of our weaknesses:

Strengths: Massachusetts is among the top ten states on 11 of the 20 measures. Strengths include high immunization coverage with 86.9 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months receiving complete immunizations, a low occupational fatalities rate at 3.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, a low prevalence of obesity at 20.3 percent of the population and ready access to primary care, with 187.3 primary care physicians per 100,000 population.

Challenges: Challenges include a high prevalence of binge drinking at 17.7 percent of the population, a high incidence of infectious disease at 20.9 cases per 100,000 population, a high rate of preventable hospitalizations with 79.9 discharges per 1,000 Medicare enrollees and a high violent crime rate at 447 offenses per 100,000 population.