A new study released this week says Minnesota has the best health care in the United States.
Minnesota finished in the top five in four of the nine metrics employed by WalletHub to determine the rankings, including first in average monthly insurance premium. It also finished third in physician medicare acceptance rate and percentage of adults without a dental visit in the past year, along with fifth in percentage of adults (age 18-64) with health insurance.
While it isn't specifically mentioned in the report, Minnesota likely benefited from the presence of Rochester-based Mayo Clinic, which recently returned to the top spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual hospital rankings.
"Mayo Clinic is just one part of the health care landscape in Minnesota, but we are proud to be top ranked for quality by more well-known national assessment organizations than any other academic medical center in the nation," Mayo Clinic said via statement.
According to the methodology outlined by WalletHub, Minnesota finished 11th in health care costs, 6th in health care access and 3rd in health outcomes. By comparison, Wisconsin was ranked No. 24 and finished 49th, 10th and 12th in those same categories.
John McDonough, a Harvard professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, said the key to keeping costs down for patients is seeking out independent information because "physicians are not always right and they don't always agree with each other."
"It's always the same — it's about access, quality, costs and efficiency, and equity," McDonough said. "Same as it's always been."
The Midwest claimed three of the top five spots in the annual ranking, as South Dakota and Iowa finished third and fourth, respectively. Maryland was second and Utah rounded out the top five.
The bottom five included Arkansas, Nevada, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska.
Minnesota scored just over 67 points on the 100-point scale, finishing three points above Maryland. Alaska had the lowest score at 39.