County Health Rankings! Marion County is NOT very healthy…

Image from UWPHI Website. Click to learn more!

The County Health Rankings report was just released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This report ranks each county in each state in overall health calculated by factors such as individual health behaviors, education

and jobs, quality of health care, and environment.  This report is a great call to action to take a step back and try to understand HOW we can get healthier and what factors may contribute to the lack of health in Marion County.

Marion County – 77th out of 92 Indiana counties.

Only ahead of 15 counties in the entire state for overall health, Marion County is ranked 15th in the state for clinical care, a category that factors in the percentage of uninsured adults, ratio of population to primary care providers, number of preventable hospital stays, and percentage of diabetic and mammography screenings for Medicare enrollees.  How does a county ranked so high in clinical care, rank so low in overall health?

Access to AFFORDABLE health care.

Marion County is 89th out of 92 in the Social & Economic Factors category:

  • 60% high school graduation rate; state average = 70%
  • 24% of children live in poverty; state average = 18%
  • 44% of households are single-parent; state average = 31%

All of these factors can point to financial stress.  Out of all of Marion County’s adult population, 16% are uninsured, leaving a barrier to health care access.  Federally Qualified Health Centers, such as HealthNet, aim to provide affordable, quality primary care to those who are uninsured or underinsured.  According to UWPHI, “While having health insurance is a crucial step toward accessing the different aspects of the health care system, health insurance by itself does not ensure access. It is also necessary to have comprehensive coverage, providers that accept the individual’s health insurance, relatively close proximity of providers to patients, and primary care providers in the community.[1]

Marion County is NOT very healthy in terms of overall care, but a major factor may be the affordability and access to health care.  What are your thoughts on why Marion County (and the state’s capital) rank so low?

 

To learn more about HealthNet and what it does to increase access to care, click here.  Indiana also has two initiatives aimed at bettering the health of our populations. Learn more about INShape Indiana and the Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative.

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