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August 6, 2018

WalletHub puts Maine at No. 12 for health care overall

Maine is the nation's 12th best state for health care and No. 1 in terms of access, according to a survey released today by the personal finance website WalletHub.

WalletHub's survey puts the Pine Tree State just behind Connecticut and just ahead of Kansas, in a study topped by the New England states of Vermont (No. 1), Massachusetts (No. 2) and New Hampshire (No. 3).

To determine the best and worst states for health care, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia according to cost, access and outcomes, which were further divided into 40 subcategories.

WalletHub notes in its introduction to the study that cost and quality of service vary widely from state to state, and that higher costs don't necessarily translate into better results.

Access to health care, in which Maine was at the head of the class, was measured according to factors including the number of hospital beds per capita; average response time for emergency medical services; the average emergency-room wait time; physicians, nurse practitioners and urgent-care centers per capita; and the share of insured adults and children.

Maine didn't fare as well in the cost category, coming in at No. 35 out of 51. That ranking took into account the cost of medical and dental visits, the average monthly insurance premium, the share of high out-of-pocket medical spending, and the share of adults with no doctor visits due to cost.

Maine came in at No 15 in outcomes, which takes into account factors such as infant and adult mortality rates, the proportion of patients readmitted into the hospital, and rates of cancer and heart disease.

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