The personal finance website WalletHub says Vermonters receive the best health care in the country.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 40 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome.
“It joins one of many studies that show that Vermont’s a very healthy state and a great place to live and that we have a high quality of life here,” Community Health Centers of Burlington CEO Alison Calderara said.
Jeff Tieman, the president and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, says he’s pleased but not entirely surprised. He says hospitals are constantly working with other health care providers “to enhance the value of the patient experience and make sure everyone is getting the care they need.”
Tieman said a good example is a person with diabetes who needs to carefully track blood sugar, diet and exercise.
“Those are things that physicians and nurses and caregivers can monitor and work with patients routinely and thereby prevent hospitalizations, keep people at home, keep them out of the emergency room, ” Tieman said.
WalletHub says Vermont tops the country in patient outcomes and ranks third in controlling costs. The Green Mountain State ranks 23rd in access to care. Calderara agrees the state could do better making sure people can find treatment.
“Part of access is not just staying within your four walls and thinking that you have served the community well,” she said. “We need to get out more in the community. We need to connect with people in churches and where they work.”
Federally-qualified health centers like Community Health Centers of Burlington are crucial in maintaining access. Vermont has 12 of them, and they serve about one out of every four Vermonters. CHCB is expecting to serve 30,000 patients this year.
“We can help them take responsibility for their health in a primary care setting,” Calderara said. “That’s good for all Vermonters and I like to think that you’re seeing that.”
You can find the WalletHub study here. New Hampshire ranked third, while New York came in at #17.