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    Hospital Care: Does Your State Rate?

    All states -- even ones at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to hospital care -- have good hospitals and bad hospitals. What do you look for in a good hospital?
    By
    WebMD Feature

    Suffering a heart attack in a state such as Mississippi is likely to be much more dangerous than in Colorado.

    In fact, a new report shows where you live may play a major role in the quality of hospital care you get for various conditions.

    The sixth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study shows the quality of healthcare at the nation's hospitals varies greatly among states.

    Researchers ranked each of the country's nearly 5,000 hospitals on 26 common procedures and conditions and found better-performing hospitals tended to be in northern or sparsely populated states.

    Here's how the 50 states and District of Columbia fared:

    Rank

    State

    1

    North Dakota

    2

    Florida

    3

    Ohio

    4

    Michigan

    5

    Maryland

    6

    Colorado

    7

    Pennsylvania

    8

    Connecticut

    9

    Utah

    10

    South Dakota

    11

    Virginia

    12

    Minnesota

    13

    Arizona

    14

    Montana

    15

    New Jersey

    16

    Maine

    17

    Illinois

    18

    Rhode Island

    19

    Washington

    20

    Indiana

    21

    Oregon

    22

    Washington, D.C.

    23

    New Hampshire

    24

    Idaho

    25

    California

    26

    Massachusetts

    27

    Missouri

    28

    Louisiana

    29

    North Carolina

    30

    Texas

    31

    New Mexico

    32

    Nebraska

    33

    New York

    34

    Kentucky

    35

    Delaware

    36

    Nevada

    37

    Georgia

    38

    Wisconsin

    39

    Alaska

    40

    Iowa

    41

    West Virginia

    42

    South Carolina

    43

    Wyoming

    44

    Hawaii

    45

    Oklahoma

    46

    Vermont

    47

    Kansas

    48

    Tennessee

    49

    Arkansas

    50

    Alabama

    51

    Mississippi

    Hospital Care, State by State

    "The quality chasm at American hospitals is real, and it is very alarming and concerning -- despite evidence of process improvements," says Samantha Collier, MD, HealthGrades' vice president of medical affairs, in a news release.

    Although there are exceptional hospitals in even the lowest-ranking states, researchers say that, on average, patients get better quality healthcare in the higher-ranking states.

    For example, the report shows that a person has a 55% increased chance of dying if he or she had a balloon angioplasty or other similar heart procedure in Texas rather than in New York.

    "In Mississippi, your chance of dying from a heart attack is 49% higher, on average, than if you were treated in Colorado," says Collier.

    Researchers say that the greatest differences at the state level were among certain heart procedures, such as balloon angioplasty, stenting, and others. For these procedures, New York was the best performing state and Alaska was the worst.

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