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Updated: August 2, 2023

Maine in top 10 for health care, No. 1 for access in WalletHub ranking

WalletHub map of United States showing Maine with No. 7 ranking Map / Courtesy WalletHub Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, Maine was ranked No. 7 for health care in a WalletHub barometer published July 31.

When it comes to health care quality, Maine ranks in the top 10 and leads the nation in terms of access, a report by personal finance website WalletHub shows. The findings were published July 31.

WalletHub's report on "2023's Best & Worst States for Health Care" puts the Pine Tree State at No. 7 overall, based on 44 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome.

Maine shines as No. 1 for access, a category that takes into account factors such as quality of the public hospital system, hospital beds per capita, the average emergency-room wait time and physicians per capita.

The state received lower marks in other categories, however, coming in at No. 21 for cost and No. 18 for patient outcomes.

Minnesota was the overall leader, followed by Iowa, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Utah to round out the top five. West Virginia ranked last.

Trevor Putnoky
File photo / Jim Neuger
Trevor Putnoky

Trevor Putnoky, president and CEO of the Falmouth-based Healthcare Purchaser Alliance, noted that many ratings should be taken with a grain of salt.

"I also think Maine should be proud of all the very real accomplishments regarding access to care around the state. I think it’s the result of a lot of collaboration and thoughtfulness over the years," Putnoky said. 

At the same time, "I worry more and more that all the efforts to ensure Mainers have access won’t mean a whole lot if care isn’t affordable," he told Mainebiz.

"It doesn’t matter that there’s a doctor down the street if you aren’t going to see them because you’re worried about the bill. To me, these issues aren’t distinct. They are one and the same, and we need to be talking about them as such."

In a recent "On the Record" interview with Mainebiz, Putnoky pointed to cost as health care's top challenge in Maine, which he said has the highest individual deductibles in the country and the highest prevalence of high-deductible plans right now.

"Employers and their employees are paying more and getting less, and it’s leading to a lot of tough decisions," he said. "The other big challenges we face are access in rural parts of the state, our aging population, variations in quality, and consolidation in the provider market."

Find the full WalletHub report and rankings here

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