Health care quality holds one-third of the weight in ranking the Best States for health care. Four metrics – Medicare quality, hospital readmissions, nursing home quality and preventable hospital admissions – contributed to the rankings. Though this subcategory’s rankings are determined by only four metrics, they offer a broad and multifaceted outlook on the state of health care in the nation. Health care quality is intrinsically linked to health care accessibility, and it contributes heavily to a state's population health, the other two subcategories used to determine the Best States for health care.
Hawaii, the top state for health care, also ranks No. 1 for healthcare quality, followed by Utah and Washington. Interestingly, Alaska, which has the worst health care access in the country, ranks No. 4 for health care quality, with one of the lowest hospital readmissions rates and preventable admissions rates.