The Commonwealth Funda nonprofit organization that promotes quality healthcare systems, publishes a Scorecard each year, which ranks states on 56 benchmarks, such as health care access, health disparities, and quality. The nonprofit added seven COVID-19-related benchmarks to this year’s dashboard, including “excess deaths.”
Overall, North Carolina ranked 34e of 51. (The District of Columbia is included in the ranking along with all 50 states.) North Carolina ranked higher than most Southeast states, but fell behind neighboring Virginia, which came in 20e. Hawaii was No. 1 and Mississippi was 51st.
Most states with the largest numbers of uninsured adults have not expanded Medicaid. North Carolina is one of those states with no expansion and 15.7% of adults were uninsured in 2020, putting the state close to the bottom.
North Carolina was one of 16 states where more than 80% of hospital intensive care beds were occupied for more than 150 days between August 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022. The state ranked 41st in days of high stress in the ICU, with 251.
Between February 1, 2020 and April 23, 2022, North Carolina had 344.7 additional deaths per 100,000 people, according to the report, lower than the national average. The excess deaths resulted from COVID-19, heart disease, cancer, stroke and other causes, pushing the death toll past estimates based on historical patterns. Hawaii had the lowest rate of excess deaths at 110.3 per 100,000 people, and Mississippi had the highest rate, at 595.8 per 100,000.
The Commonwealth Fund used CDC data to determine the ranking.
Here’s where North Carolina ranked on specific metrics:
ten – in adults with appropriate cancer screenings
13 – in prevention and treatment, and 1st among southeastern states 20 — maternal deaths during pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy
22 — In avoidable hospital use and cost, and 3rd in the Southeast
27 — in uninsured children
28 — in adults 18 years and older without a usual source of care 29 — in adults with no dental visit in the past year
29 — In racial and ethnic equity, and 5e At the South-East
34 – in a healthy lifewhich includes factors such as state public health funding, premature death, smoking and obesity, and tooth loss, 4and in the southeast
34 — in adults with mental illness reporting an unmet need
34 – nationwide for premature deaths from treatable causes
37 – in healthcare access and affordability, and 6th of 12 Southeast states
38 — in children who have not received the necessary mental health care
39 — in adults who have gone without care in the past year due to cost
44 — in income disparities, and 5e among the southeastern states. This measure compares markers of health — such as children without preventive medical and dental visits, adults who report fair to poor health, and adults who smoke — to family income.
44 — in number of uninsured adults aged 19 to 64
46 — among residents with medical debt