How we rank: Health spending, prosperity, workers comp


Delaware ranks a dismal third in one measure of health care spending.

NiceRx have revealed the US states paying the most for healthcare, as well as the states where residents are paying the most for prescription medication and the most costly injuries and illnesses.

You can view the full research here.

Below is Delaware’s ranking in healthcare spending per person. The findings are nothing new, with possible explanations ranging from the poor health of many residents to a lack of hospital competition with nonprofit hospital systems dominating their respecrtive markets.

Top 10 states with the highest healthcare spending per year

RankStateHealthcare spending
per person
6North Dakota$9,851
7New York$9,778
8New Hampshire$9,589
9Rhode Island$9,551

Delaware 19th in prosperity index

Delaware ranks 19th in overall prosperity according to the American Dream Prosperity Index (ADPI), released last month by the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in partnership with Legatum Institute. 

The United States continues to see a rise in prosperity, even as it faced the long-term impacts of a pandemic and the realities of rising inflation and a shrinking economy. But while the overall trend points to a prosperous nation, prosperity continues to be unequally distributed regionally, often eluding rural communities and Black Americans, a release stated.

The index focuses on inclusive societies, open economies, and empowered people, a release stated.

Delaware’s strengths include ranking fifth in infrastructure, sixth in economic quality and eighth in living conditions. According to the Index, Delaware’s could improve in personal freedom (ranked 39th), natural environment (ranked 34th), safety and security (ranked 32nd) and health (ranked 32nd).

Since 2012, the First State has improved the most in safety and security.

Workers comp treatment in Delaware often starts in emergency room

A new 28-state study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found Delaware ranked second in the rate of emergency department use among workers seeking care for new injuries during the period from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2021.

“The substantial interstate variation in the use of EDs across states, even for the same injury type, raises questions about why we observe this variation and whether it comes from the design of workers’ compensation systems or other factors,” said John Ruser, CEO of WCRI. “In addition to documenting the variation, this study sheds light on some of the factors accounting for it.”

The study was entitled  Initial Medical Treatment at Emergency Department or Physician Office: Interstate Comparisons and Early COVID-19 Impact—A WCRI FlashReport.

In 2021, ED utilization for initial medical services ranged from 14 percent in Arizona to 37 percent in Massachusetts. The Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on where workers went for treatment. Emergency departments are the most costly way to enter the treatment system.

The study tracked evaluation and management and ED utilization patterns for workers injured in 28 states.

Delaware has high workers compensation costs, but has been improve its performance in recent years.