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Idaho Ranks 31 Nationally For Health Care

health system scorecard

The 2014 National Health Systems Scorecard was released this week.

The Commonwealth Fund assesses states on 42 indicators of health care access, quality, costs, and outcomes over the 2007-2012 period, which includes the recession, but does not include the affordable care act.

Idaho's overall ranking was in the bottom quarter of the country, ranking at number 31. Several factors make up that ranking. One of the key categories is Access to Health Care. Idaho ranks number 42 in that category.

Blue Cross of Idaho said that ranking is accurate because of how rural Idaho is as a state.

"A lot of this is based on peoples access to care. Idaho is very rural state so that's difficult for people to have a doctor. At the same time the average income for any given family is relatively low so we have a large percentage of people that don't have access to health insurance which limits their ability to see a doctor on a regular basis," said Josh Jordan, the corporate communications director for Blue Cross of Idaho.

Jordan said in the next couple of years we could see Idaho improve its ranking for access to health care because of Obamacare.

That will depend if the program proves successful by giving more people access to healthcare.

Idaho's overall ranking may be low, but one of the places Idaho  ranked the highest was for the Healthy Living category, ranking 15.

Jordan said that high ranking is likely from the larger youth population in Idaho, he said younger people tend to be healthier. Another factor in that could be the active lifestyle many people live in our state.

In our region, Utah ranked in the top quarter of the country with an overall ranking of 19.

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