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Minnesota Slips in State National Health Rankings

The state placed sixth in an annual report from the United Health Foundation.

Minnesota finished sixth this year in the United Health Foundation’s closely watched annual ranking of the healthiest states. That’s down from fourth place, which the state held in both 2015 and 2016.
 
The 2017 America’s Health Rankings report is the 28th annual edition from United, which uses a variety of performance measures to evaluate the health care delivery system in each state.
 
This year’s ranking is based on how well each state performed on 35 core measures and 28 supplemental measures in five categories: behaviors; community and environment; policy; clinical care; and outcomes.  A perfect score is 1.0. This year Minnesota came in sixth at 0.676 behind Massachusetts (0.916), Hawaii (0.845), Vermont (0.789), Utah (0.734) and Connecticut (0.699). Minnesota’s score last year was 0.727.
 
The five least-healthiest states this year were Mississippi (-1.036), Louisiana (-0.908) , Arkansas (-0.772), Alabama (-0.762) and West Virginia (-0.696).
 
As previously reported by Twin Cities Business, Minnesota has finished in the Top 10 each year that United has compiled the state rankings.
 
This year Minnesota finished first in the health outcomes category. The performance measures in that category included deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease, prevalence of diabetes, mental and physical distress, and infant mortality rate. The state ranked eighth in the clinical care category, 10th in both the policy and community and environment categories, and 14th in the behaviors category.
 
The 2017 report said Minnesota’s three strengths were:
 
  • Low percentage of uninsured population
  • Low cardiovascular death rate
  • Low percentage of children in poverty
 
Its three greatest challenges were:
 
  • High prevalence of excessive drinking
  • High incidence of pertussis
  • Low per capita public health funding
 
In October, Healthgrades, the Denver-based hospital and doctor ratings company, ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul as the healthiest metropolitan area in the country, as previously reported by Twin Cities Business. The Healthgrades based its ranking on 18 performance measures in four categories: access to care; risky behaviors; hospital quality; and population health.