The Commonwealth Fund released their State Health System Performance scorecard today, finding that West Virginia was fifth most improved on health performance, but still ranks as one of the least healthy states in the country.
West Virginia improved on markers such as the number of uninsured children and adults, adults smoking and the number of people dying from colorectal cancer, but worsened in the number of obese adults, deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use and adults with mental illness who did not receive treatment.
The improvements moved West Virginia from 47th to 46th on the list and marked the state as one of the “most improved” in the country.
West Virginia is top ranked for home health patients with improved mobility and the number of uninsured children.
The report found that nationally there was a 50% increase in deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use since 2005 and that rising death rates, high levels of obesity and gaps in care are challenges for all states. The authors say that socioeconomic disadvantages are a major contributor to disparities in health care and health outcomes across the country and that all states, even the highest ranked ones, have room to improve their health performance.