How States Rank for Long-Term Care

Like real estate, rating the quality of long-term care is about location, location, location.

A new report from AARP, The Commonweath Fund and The Scan Foundation found a wide disparity of services and accessibility in the U.S. for the elderly and disabled and their caregivers on a state-by-state basis.
As summarized by WebMD, the study looked at:

  • affordability and access;
  • patient choice of both provider and setting;
  • quality of life and care; and
  • support for family caregivers.

Overall, the five highest-scoring states are:
1. Minnesota
2. Washington
3. Oregon
4. Hawaii
5. Wisconsin
The lowest scores go to:
1. Mississippi
2. Alabama
3. West Virginia
4. Oklahoma
5. Indiana
The top five states cover nearly two-thirds of their low- to moderate-income population that requires long-term care. The worst states cover only one-fifth. The nationwide average is about one-third.

But everything is relative, and the authors are careful to note that even states with high scores need to improve the services they provide, and that low-ranked states performed well in at least some categories.

The authors said that if all states performed as well as Minnesota, more than 120,000 hospitalizations would be avoided at a savings of $1.3 billion. If all states had public safety nets as effective Maine’s, more than 667,000 people would be covered by Medicaid or other publicly funded programs.

To view the full study and how every state ranks, go to www.longtermscorecard.org.

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