The above map shows average hospital wait times across the US in 2020, the latest year available. Maryland ranked worst overall followed by Delaware and Massachusetts. States with longer wait times tended to be on the east and west coasts, with southern and central American states having better wait times overall


If you have an emergency, then you probably don’t want to be in Maryland — the state has the longest hospital waiting times in the country.

While the average American waits two hours and 25 minutes to be seen in the ER, residents in Maryland wait three hours and 48 minutes.

That’s according to a new analysis by the online pharmacy NiceRx which ranked US states in terms of emergency room waiting times and healthcare spending for 2020.

The biggest spenders and also the most populated states were California, which forked out $174.1billion on healthcare, followed by New York ($131billion) and Texas ($75.9billion).

It comes after DailyMail.com reported the most unhealthy states in America, based on gym density, smoking rates and obesity levels.

Hover over your state to see the waiting time 

The above map shows average hospital wait times across the US in 2020, the latest year available. Maryland ranked worst overall followed by Delaware and Massachusetts. States with longer wait times tended to be on the east and west coasts, with southern and central American states having better wait times overall

The above map shows average hospital wait times across the US in 2020, the latest year available. Maryland ranked worst overall followed by Delaware and Massachusetts. States with longer wait times tended to be on the east and west coasts, with southern and central American states having better wait times overall

The above map shows healthcare spending by state, although this was not broken down to per head of population. California ranked top overall followed by New York and Texas

The above map shows healthcare spending by state, although this was not broken down to per head of population. California ranked top overall followed by New York and Texas

Ten states with longest ER waiting times 

  1. Maryland – 228 minutes;
  2. Delaware – 195 minutes;
  3. Massachusetts – 189 minutes;
  4. Rhode Island – 185 minutes;
  5. New York – 184 minutes;
  6. Arizona – 176 minutes;
  7. New Jersey – 173 minutes;
  8. Connecticut – 166 minutes;
  9. California – 164 minutes;
  10. Illinois – 157 minutes.

Source: Becker’s Hospital Review 

Ten states with shortest ER waiting times 

  1. North Dakota – 104 minutes;
  2. South Dakota – 113 minutes;
  3. Nebraska – 114 minutes;
  4. Oklahoma – 115 minutes;
  5. Kansas – 117 minutes;
  6. Hawaii – 117 minutes;
  7. Iowa – 123 minutes;
  8. Mississippi – 124 minutes;
  9. Montana – 127 minutes;
  10. Arkansas – 127 minutes. 

Source: Becker’s Hospital Review 

The second worst state for waiting times in the US was Delaware, at three hours and 15 minutes, followed by Massachusetts at three hours and nine minutes.

Rounding out the worst five were Rhode Island (three hours and five minutes) and New York (three hours and four minutes).

At the other end of the scale was North Dakota, with an average wait time of one hour and 44 minutes.

Just above the state were South Dakota and Nebraska, with average waiting times just below two hours.

Figures on hospital wait times were compiled using the Becker’s Hospital Review, which monitors healthcare units across the country.

Data was included for 15 months from January 2020 to March 2021. 

Wait times likely declined at the start of the Covid pandemic as many stayed away from hospital for fear of catching the virus.

Lockdowns and the move to telemedicine also lead to less pressure on wards.

But in recent months admissions have resurged because the return of seasonal viruses like the flu and RSV which are once again pushing hospitals to the brink.

States with higher wait times in emergency rooms tended to be Democrat run and based along the east and west coasts.

They also tended to have larger populations than those with lower wait times.

In terms of spending, California — the most populous state in the country — spent the most at $174.1billion on healthcare services.

New York spent the second highest amount, $87.1billion, followed by Texas at $75.9billion.

Pennsylvania — $58.3billion — and Ohio — $45.3billion — were also in the top five.

At the other end of the scale was Wyoming — $1.2billion —, South Dakota — $1.8billion — and North Dakota — $2.4billion.

NiceRx compiled the figures from data published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Officials calculated total healthcare spending in each state by summing together ten different categories.

 

 

These were: Care home and ambulance costs, hospital costs, physician and clinical services, dental services, home health care, prescription drugs, nursing home care, durable medical products and others.

The data was for the year 2020 only.

In most states personal health care — such as money on care homes or ambulances —, was the biggest proportion of healthcare spending.

Durable medical products — such as oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, and so on — accounted for the lowest overall expenditure.

Ten states with the least healthcare spending 

  1. Wyoming – $1.2billion in healthcare spending;
  2. South Dakota – $1.8billion in healthcare spending;
  3. North Dakota – $2.4billion in healthcare spending;
  4. Vermont – $3.2billion in healthcare spending;
  5. Montana – $3.9billion in healthcare spending;
  6. Hawaii – $4billion in healthcare spending;
  7. New Hampshire – $4.1billion in healthcare spending;
  8. Delaware – $4.1billion in healthcare spending;
  9. Nebraska – $4.3billion in healthcare spending;
  10. Rhode Island – $4.9billion in healthcare spending. 

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  

Ten states with the most healthcare spending 

  1. California – $174.1billion in healthcare expenses;
  2. New York – $131billion in healthcare expenses;
  3. Texas – $75.9billion in healthcare expenses;
  4. Pennsylvania – $58.3billion in healthcare expenses;
  5. Ohio – $45.3billion in healthcare expenses;
  6. Illinois – $43.9billion in healthcare expenses;
  7. Florida – $43.1billion in healthcare expenses;
  8. Michigan – $34.1billion in healthcare expenses;
  9. Massachusetts – $33.4billion in healthcare expenses;
  10. New Jersey – $29.5billion in healthcare expenses. 

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 

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