A healthy Kansas economy starts with healthy Kansans. Our state enjoys many advantages when it comes to health – open space, clean air and water, and a good sense of community.
Despite these amenities, however, Kansas finds itself in the middle of the pack when examining the health, economic, and social foundation of the state in comparison to other states in the region. A stable economic underpinning works to promote the health and well-being of all Kansans. In other words, a Kansan’s health involves much more than just healthy living and good choices – a range of factors make an impact. These factors (also known as the social determinants of health) comprise approximately 90% of what determines the health of the state’s population
To determine how Kansas ranks relative to its regional counterparts, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG) collected and analyzed a total of 39 indicators divided among the four key areas in the model above. Overall, Kansas ranks right in the middle of the pack when compared to the six other states in the region, which include Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
While being ‘right in the middle’ may not sound so bad, this ranking doesn’t take into account how recent policy choices may impact Kansas’ performance for years to come. Whether it’s unsustainable state tax policy that limits investments in public education or a refusal to expand KanCare to help improve the physical and mental health of Kansans, state policy choices will reverberate through the state for some time.
Though the Health and Prosperity Index (HAPI) is a new endeavor, KCEG will track these indicators over time to determine the impact of current policy choices on future outcomes. For now, the Kansas API results focus on short-term indicators available today.
Arizona ranked 49th in the United States (U.S.) for its rate of uninsured children for the fifth consecutive year. In 2014, 10 percent of Arizona children remained uninsured, compared to 6 percent nationally.
Home-care aides — providers of hands-on care to older adults and people with disabilities — are one of Ohio’s fastest growing occupations, growing at more than five times the rate of overall jobs in the economy. Home-health and personal-care jobs continued to grow during the last two recessions, and the numbers of workers employed in the industry has nearly tripled since 2001. According to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), Ohio now has approximately 86,000 home-care aides, including 66,000 home-health aides, and 20,000 personal-care aides.
Rapid growth of the home-care industry is largely good news. Given most people’s preference for in-home care and the fact that home-based services are less expensive than institutional care, growth of the home-care industry is largely a win-win.
However, the home care industry is riddled with high turnover rates, workforce vacancies and related quality-of-care issues. This is largely the result of low job satisfaction due to low wages, part-time and unpredictable hours, and a lack of benefits that come with the job. In order to serve the growing public demand for these services, while ensuring continuity and quality of care, policymakers must address the need for better wages and benefits in the industry.
KidsCare is Arizona’s health insurance program for children who don’t qualify for Medicaid in working
families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level – a maximum of $47,700 for a family of
four. As a budget cutting, strategy, Arizona froze enrollment in KidsCare effective January 2010. Arizona
was allowed to continue the enrollment freeze because it did so before the signing of the Affordable Care
Act. No other state has a freeze on their children’s health insurance program and states are prohibited from
diminishing children’s health coverage that existed on March 23, 2010.