Hawaii is one of just six states that ranks above the average in health care for all ethnic groups, according to a November 2021 examination from the Commonwealth Fund. The study collected data on 24 different health indicators and grouped them into three main categories: health outcomes, access to health care, and health care quality.
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The study collected health data on five racial and ethnic groups for each state and Washington, DC: non-Latin / Hispanic black, non-Hispanic / Hispanic white, Hispanic / Hispanic, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI), and Native American , Alaska Native (AIAN). Each state received a percentile score from 1 to 100 for each race and ethnic group, which is relative to the performance of other states.
Hawaii’s overall rankings compared to other states are as follows:
Latinx / Spanish speaking: 2 of 42 states with available data
White: 5 of 51 states with available data
AANHPI: 6 of 23 states with available data
The study did not provide Hawaii with overall rankings for blacks or AIAN groups, which make up less than 2% of the state’s population. Although Hawaii’s health care system ranked above the national average for Latin / Spanish individuals (85th percentile), it was significantly lower than whites (95th percentile) and AANHPI (94th percentile).
Hawaii’s high performance in access to health care and health care has likely contributed to a higher overall ranking. Hawaii had lower uninsured rates for all racial and ethnic groups with data available than the national average. Hawaii also generally had higher rates of cancer screening, vaccines, and preventative care visits for all groups than the national average.
A closer look at the data, however, reveals that there are still health differences in terms of health outcomes. Some of Hawaii’s data reflect health inequalities found across the country. The report said that for most states with available data, blacks and AIAN individuals are “more likely than whites to die early in life from conditions that can be treated with timely access to high-quality health care.”
In Hawaii, 70 per. 100,000 white people in this category, which was lower than black (90 per 100,000), Latinx / Hispanic (90 per 100,000) and AANHPI (85 per 100,000) people. Data for AIAN individuals were not available.
Hawaii also has higher breast cancer mortality rates for all groups with available data than the national average, despite having higher mammography counts than the national average.
Dr. Scott Grosskreutz, a Hilo-based radiologist, said these inequalities occur mainly between Honolulu and the nearby islands.
“Neighboring islands have a higher mortality rate. They have a higher mortality rate from cancer and stroke, heart attack, asthma and trauma. It is significantly higher. ”
Grosskreutz attributes poorer health outcomes to a worsening crisis in the health care workforce in the state, reducing access to care in an already geographically isolated state.
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