The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in the country’s healthcare system such as the lack of personal protective equipment, beds and even staff members. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, described the pandemic in April as “the greatest public health crisis that has hit this nation in more than 100 years.”
According to a recent study by WalletHub, Arkansas ranks no. 9 on the list of states with the best health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a total score of 59.08.
Below is the summary of the report for the state of Arkansas.
Health Infrastructure in Arkansas (1=Best, 25=Avg.):
- 18th – Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Funding Per Capita
- 20th – Public Hospital System Quality
- 17th – Public Healthcare Spending per Capita
- 2nd – Number of Hospital Beds per Capita
- 27th – Share of Uninsured Population
WalletHub compared the 50 states across the following 14 key metrics:
- State Public Health Emergency Preparedness
- Total Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Funding per Capita
- Public Hospital System Quality
- Emergency Centers and Services per Capita
- Epidemiology Workforce per Capita
- Public Healthcare Spending per Capita
- Number of Hospital Beds per Capita
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Beds per Capita
- Number of Hospital Beds Most Needed Exclusively for COVID Patients per All Hospital Beds Available
- State and Local Public Health Laboratories per Capita
- Presence of Quarantine Stations
- Share of Uninsured Population
- States That Offer a Premium Payment Grace Period
- Adoption of Telehealth Services
Each metric was weighted on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best health infrastructure.
North Dakota ranked no. 1 on the list, with a score of 71.37, and Connecticut ranked no. 50, with a score of 32.75.
“North Dakota has the best health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic in part because it has some of the strongest online healthcare services in the country, allowing patients to smoothly and securely communicate with doctors and insurance providers remotely,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “North Dakota’s public health emergency preparedness funding is one of the highest in the country, which ensures flexibility for the public health department at a time they need it the most.”