The coronavirus pandemic is the “largest, most serious health crisis that has hit this nation in more than 100 years,” according to CDC director Robert Redfield. That’s not hard to see, considering the unprecedented social distancing measures that have affected the lives of all Americans. Many parts of the U.S. were caught unprepared for a pandemic of this scale, running out of space in hospitals and lacking adequate supplies for doctors and nurses. However, some states’ healthcare systems were better equipped to deal with the onslaught of the virus than others.
In order to determine the states that had the best health infrastructure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 14 unique metrics. Our data set ranges from the state’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness funding per capita to the share of the population that is uninsured and the number of hospital beds per capita. Read on for the ranking, additional insight from a panel of experts and a complete description of our methodology.
States with the Best Health Infrastructure during the COVID-19 Pandemic
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score|
Ask the Experts
As states work to keep their citizens safe during the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub turned to a panel of experts for further insight on how to have the best health infrastructure. Click on the experts below to view their bios and responses to the following key questions:
- In evaluating the states with the best health infrastructure for handling the Coronavirus outbreak, what are the top five indicators?
- What are the biggest challenges for hospitals in responding to COVID-19 and what strategies can be used in order to mitigate these challenges?
- In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine has experienced an unprecedented surge in demands. What measures can be taken in order to ensure access to telehealth services and thus avoiding exposure of the vulnerable population?
- How could local authorities best support hospitals and healthcare providers responding to COVID-19?
Ask the Experts
In order to identify the states with the best health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 14 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best infrastructure.
We then determined the weighted average across all metrics to calculate an overall score for each state and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
- State Public Health Emergency Preparedness Performance Tier: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
Note: This metrics is based on Trust for America’s Health “Ready or Not” report which measures states’ performance on an annual basis using 10 indicators that, taken together, provide a checklist of a jurisdiction’s level of preparedness to prevent and respond to threats to its residents’ health during an emergency.
- Total Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Funding per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Public Hospital System Quality: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Emergency Centers and Services per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Epidemiology Workforce per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Public Healthcare Spending per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Number of Hospital Beds per Capita: Double Weight (~9.52 Points)
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Beds per Capita: Triple Weight (~14.29 Points)
- Number of Hospital Beds Most Needed Exclusively for COVID Patients per All Hospital Beds Available: Quadruple Weight (~19.05 Points)
Note: All beds needed is the total number of beds needed exclusively for COVID patients, and includes ICU beds needed for COVID patients. All beds available is the number of hospital beds available specifically for COVID patients and is equal to the total number of hospital beds minus the average historical bed use. This number includes ICU beds.
- State and Local Public Health Laboratories per Capita: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- Presence of Quarantine Stations: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
Note: This binary metric measures the presence or absence of quarantine stations in a state.
- Share of Uninsured Population: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
- States That Offer a Premium Payment Grace Period: Full Weight (~4.76 Points)
Note: This metric measures the presence or absence of Premium Payment Grace Period policies in a state.
- Adoption of Telehealth Services: Double Weight (~9.52 Points)
Note: This composite metric includes Patient Setting, Technology, Provider types and Medicaid Coverage.
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trust for America's Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, United Health Foundation, The Health Resources and Services Administration, Kaiser Family Foundation, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Association of Public Health Laboratories and American Telemedicine Association.