The Tar Heel State is a laggard among the 50 states on healthcare outcomes at a rank of 42nd, according to a new analysis from WalletHub.
The website gave North Carolina particularly low marks for the number of hospital beds per capita and the percentage of insured adults.
The breakdown for NC on key metrics includes:
- 31st in average monthly insurance premium
- 43rd in hospital beds per capita
- 27th in physicians per capita
- 23rd in dentists per capita
- 43rd in percentage of insured adults
- 34th in percentage of insured children
- 28th in percentage of adults with no dental visit in the past year
- 34th in percentage of medical residents retained
The top five states for healthcare outcomes are Minnesota, Iowa, Rhode Island, North Dakota, and Utah. The bottom five are West Virginia, Mississippi, Alaska, Alabama, and Louisiana.
In sum, the average American spends $12,914 per year on personal healthcare, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“You’re going to see more and more reports out that show what this WalletHub report reflects — what’s happening to the average North Carolinian in terms of them not consuming healthcare but having healthcare consume them,” said NC State Treasurer Dale Folwell, a Republican, in a recent call with reporters.
Folwell said that certificate of need laws should be repealed. He also pointed to a bill pending in the NC House that would limit the interest rate that large medical facilities can charge patients and limit medical debt buyers or debt collectors from “engaging in any extraordinary collection actions to obtain payment for the care.”
“That piece of legislation would catapult North Carolina to No. 2 in the United States in terms of protecting the consumers, protecting the widows, protecting the widowers, and all the other consumers of healthcare in North Carolina,” Folwell said.