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New study shows Kentucky ranks 45th nationally in ability to shape health care flexibility

Kentucky ranks 45th in the nation in terms of how much flexibility patients and providers have in shaping health care, according to a new project produced by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The Healthcare Openness and Access Project (HOAP) is a toolkit that allows each state to compare its laws, regulations, and markets with those of other states. It is intended to spur conversation on what works—and what doesn’t work—as the country moves to improve Americans’ healthcare quality, options, and access.

Kentucky health care

For a glimpse at the project, the map above shows the most open and accessible states in teal and the least in orange.

See below for Kentucky’s ranking on the 10 factors (subindexes) that measure the control patients and providers have over broad areas of health care:

Corporate: (Kentucky ranks 17th)
How much leeway do providers in your state have over the management and structure of their businesses?

Direct Primary Care: (Kentucky ranks 32nd)
How amenable is your state to the direct primary care model for physician practices?

Insurance: (Kentucky ranks 44th)
Do your state’s insurers have flexibility to determine the pricing of health insurance policies?

Medical Liability: (Kentucky ranks 31st)
How constrained are your state’s physicians by the threat of malpractice?

Occupational Regulation: (Kentucky ranks 36th)
Do medical professionals in your state have easy access to licensure?

Pharmaceutical Access: (Kentucky ranks 43rd)
Does your state allow experimental drug access?

Provider Regulation: (Kentucky ranks 51st)
How freely can your state’s hospitals compete with one another?

Public Health: (Kentucky ranks 1st)
Does your state allow easy access to substance abuse remedies?

Taxation: (Kentucky ranks 39th)
How burdensome are your state’s taxes on healthcare services?

Telemedicine: (Kentucky ranks 12th)
Does your state allow telemedicine?

One of the authors, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Robert Graboyes, notes:

States control the most intimate aspects of health care and can alter them without seeking federal government approval. The actions that states take in these areas have an enormous effect on the cost and quality of health care.

The Rankings:
Top States:
1. Idaho
2. Montana
3. Missouri
4. Mississippi
5. Utah
6. Wisconsin
7. Wyoming
8. Indiana
9. Colorado
10. Alaska

Bottom States:
42. Vermont
43. North Carolina
44. West Virginia
45. Kentucky
46. Arkansas
47. Rhode Island
48. Connecticut
49. New York
50. New Jersey
51. Georgia

For more than 25 years, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has sought to bridge the gap between economic understanding and real-world decision making. For more information visit: www.mercatus.org.

From Mercatus Center Communications

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