Monday, June 10, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Healthcare Social Worker Pay

There were approximately 185,000 healthcare social workers at work in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Healthcare social workers are found in varied healthcare settings, including hospitals, individual family service providers, home healthcare agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient care centers. Healthcare social work professionals generally earn slightly higher salaries and wages than workers in most other occupations.  Per BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for healthcare social workers was $67,430 per year.  Although healthcare social workers realize modestly better than average pay in comparison to most workers, there is considerable variation from state to state in how much healthcare social workers earn.  Per BLS data, as of May 2023, these were the ten best and worst states for healthcare social worker pay based on annual mean wage levels:

The Best and Worst States for Healthcare Social Worker Pay

Best Paying States
California $93,200
District of Columbia $87,860
New Jersey $82,010
Oregon $81,390
Connecticut $79.360
Rhode Island $75,950
New Hampshire $74,750
Hawaii $73,210
Vermont $72,520
Nevada $70,500

Worst Paying States
Montana $59,210
Arkansas $58,990
West Virginia $58,560
Nebraska $57,840
Tennessee $57,810
Mississippi $55,860
Oklahoma $55,130
Alabama $54,650
Missouri $53,060
South Dakota $51,630

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on June 9, 2024

Sunday, June 9, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Clinical Lab Tech Pay

There were about 334,400 clinical lab techs (technologists and technicians) working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published reports.  Clinical lab techs work mainly in hospitals and medical diagnostic laboratories, but smaller numbers are also found working in physician offices, at professional education institutions, and with ambulatory health service providers. According to BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for clinical lab techs was $62,870 per year.  Clinical lab tech pay varies widely by state according to the BLS data, from less than $50,000 annually in some states to over $75,000 per year in others.  As of May 2023, based on annual mean wage levels these were the ten best and worst states for clinical lab tech pay:

The Best and Worst States for Clinical Lab Tech Pay

Best Paying States
New York $81,930
Oregon $76,830
Connecticut $76,190
Vermont $75,660
New Hampshire $74,920
California $73,560
Rhode Island $72,200
District of Columbia $71,690
New Jersey $70,800
Washington $70,670

Worst Paying States
South Dakota $56,340
Oklahoma $55,780
Iowa $54,770
South Carolina $54,370
New Mexico $52,660
Utah $52,320
Idaho $51,910
Arkansas $51,590
Alabama $49,700
Mississippi $45,820

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on June 2, 2024

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Southeast

With additional benefits and typically lower costs, Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans can be a great value compared to Original Medicare. Despite employing managed care protocols to control costs, more and more Medicare-eligible seniors are gravitating toward the better value MA plans offer.  In just over seven and one-half years, from October 2016 through May 2024, the penetration of MA plans across the U.S. has grown from under 31% of Medicare-eligible Americans to 50%.

The growing popularity of MA plans nationally is mirrored in the twelve-state Southeast region of the U.S., where Medicare Advantage plan enrollment has grown from a 30.7% share of the Medicare-eligible market in October 2016 to 52.5% as of May 2024.  Here is a state-by-state look at how Medicare Advantage market share in the Southeast has grown from October 2016 to May 2024:

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Southeast

Medicare Advantage Market Share in the Southeast

Medicare Eligible (1) MA Enrollment (1) % MA Market Share
State May-24 Oct-16 May-24 Oct-16 May-24 Oct-16
AL 1,109.5 991.4 659.7 262.2 59.5% 26.5%
AR 673.1 609.0 304.5 125.3 45.2% 20.6%
FL 5,093.3 4,172.8 2,889.4 1,715.1 56.7% 41.1%
GA 1,925.3 1,585.9 1,064.9 529.6 55.3% 33.4%
KY 981.4 882.7 523.3 240.1 53.3% 27.2%
LA 937.7 817.7 523.0 257.4 55.8% 31.5%
MS 638.9 574.3 272.1 89.8 42.6% 15.6%
NC 2,203.4 1,829.7 1,223.9 561.9 55.5% 30.7%
SC 1,213.6 977.5 543.3 230.3 44.8% 23.6%
TN 1,468.2 1,269.6 775.4 452.3 52.8% 35.6%
VA 1,668.7 1,404.1 636.3 204.3 38.1% 14.6%
WV 450.2 424.9 227.3 106.4 50.5% 25.0%
Region 18,363.2 15,539.5 9,643.1 4,774.8 52.5% 30.7%
Total(2) 66,833.3 56,888.7 33,419.9 17,489.5 50.0% 30.7%

(1) in thousands; region totals may not equal the sum of individual states due to rounding adjustments
(2) includes U.S. territories

Monday, June 3, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Medical Assistant Pay

Medical assistants work in varied healthcare settings, including physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, offices of other types of healthcare practitioners, and assisted living facilities.  As of May 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that about 763,000 medical assistants were employed in the U.S.  The BLS further estimated that, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for medical assistants was $43,350 per year.  From state to state there was considerable variation in medical assistant mean annual wages, with medical assistants in some regions of the country earning 50% or more than their counterparts elsewhere.  Per BLS annual mean wage data of May 2023, the ten best and worst states for medical assistant pay were the following:

The Best and Worst States for Medical Assistant Pay

Best Paying States
Washington $53,780
Alaska $52,530
California $50,900
District of Columbia $50,110
Minnesota $49,740
Oregon $49,390
Massachusetts $48,570
Hawaii $47,840
New York $47,350
Connecticut $46,630

Worst Paying States
Tennessee $38,860
South Carolina $38,520
South Dakota $37,760
Oklahoma $37,480
Kentucky $37,090
Arkansas $35,560
West Virginia $34,660
Mississippi $34,630
Alabama $34,160
Louisiana $33,610

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on June 1, 2024

Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Paramedic Pay

As of May 2023, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there were about 98,800 paramedics at work in the United States.  Paramedics work in varied environments, ranging from ambulance service providers and hospitals to local government agencies. Paramedics generally earn lower average salaries and wages than most other healthcare occupations that require advanced training and skills.  Per BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the annual mean salary for paramedics was $57,450 nationally.  Pay for the profession varies widely from state to state, with paramedics in some states making double annually what their peers earn elsewhere. As of May 2023, based on annual mean wage data from the BLS, the ten best and worst states for paramedic pay were:

The Best and Worst States for Paramedic Pay

Best Paying States
Washington $94,500
New Jersey $80,510
Hawaii $73,770
District of Columbia $71,710
Connecticut $70,350
California $69,870
Minnesota $68,840
Oregon $68,660
Alaska $67,630
Illinois $67,240

Worst Paying States
North Carolina $49,950
New Mexico $49,680
Kansas $49,550
Mississippi $48,390
South Dakota $47,560
Ohio $47,450
Arkansas $47,300
Oklahoma $46,690
West Virginia $45,280
Alabama $45,060

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on June 1, 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Emergency Medical Technician Pay

There were approximately 167,000 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  EMTs work in varied settings, including ambulance service providers, public and private hospitals, and local government agencies. Unlike many other trained healthcare professionals, emergency medical technicians earn lower average salaries and wages than workers in most other occupations.  Per BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for EMTs was $43,100 annually.  Pay for the profession varies widely from state to state, with EMTs in some states making double annually what their peers earn elsewhere. As of May 2023, according to BLS annual mean wage data, the ten best and worst states for emergency medical technician pay were:

The Best and Worst States for Emergency Medical Technician Pay

Best Paying States
Hawaii $65,200
Alaska $53,670
District of Columbia $53,420
California $52,100
Illinois $51,920
Maryland $51,640
Connecticut $50,530
Massachusetts $50,170
New Jersey $48,470
Oregon $48,150

Worst Paying States
Missouri $37,450
Wyoming $36,920
Arizona $36,420
Montana $36,130
Louisiana $35,660
Arkansas $34,450
Mississippi $33,920
Kansas $33,310
West Virginia $33,150
Oklahoma $32,830

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on June 1, 2024

Friday, May 31, 2024

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Rocky Mountain Region

In the 23-24 U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) survey of American hospitals, nearly 780 hospitals were rated for their effectiveness at delivering care to adult heart patients.  The hospitals surveyed were scored on various measures related to heart patient outcomes, the breadth of their heart program and services, and the amount of recognition earned by these hospitals from their peers within the cardiology community.  In the 23-24 survey, a score of at least 59.1 out of 100 was required to earn a spot among the top 50 ranked U.S. hospitals for adult heart care. No hospitals in the Rocky Mountain region made the top 50 list and only three hospitals in the region scored more than 45 out of 100 in the 23-24 survey.  The three top-ranked heart hospitals in the Rocky Mountain region in the 23-24 USNWR survey were:

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Rocky Mountain Region

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Rocky Mountain Region



UC Health University of Colorado Hospital
Location:  Aurora, CO
National Rank:  N/R
Cardiology & Heart Surgery Score:  47.8 out of 100 

Location:  Boise, ID
National Rank:  N/R
Cardiology & Heart Surgery Score:  45.9 out of 100 

Intermountain Healthcare Intermountain Medical Center
Location:  Murray, UT
National Rank:  N/R
Cardiology & Heart Surgery Score:  45.6 out of 100 

For more insight into the metrics used to rate heart hospitals in the 23-24 USNWR survey, or to find the cardiology rating of other hospitals in the Rocky Mountain region, visit Best Hospitals for Adult Cardiology Care and Heart Surgery

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Nurse Practitioner Pay

There were approximately 280,100 nurse practitioners (NPs) working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  NPs work in varied healthcare settings, including physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, educational institutions, and the offices of other types of healthcare practitioners. Like many other healthcare professionals with advanced training and skills, nurse practitioners usually earn higher salaries and wages than workers in most other occupations.  Per BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for NPs was $128,490 per year.  While nurse practitioners realize better than average pay, there is considerable variation from state to state in how much NPs earn.  Per annual mean wage data from the BLS, as of May 2023, these were the ten best and worst states for nurse practitioner pay:

The Best and Worst States for Nurse Practitioner Pay

Best Paying States
California $161,540
Nevada $148,670
Washington $145,400
New Jersey $145,030
Oregon $144,950
Massachusetts $144,010
New York $142,830
Connecticut $136,980
New Mexico $136,770
Minnesota $135,010

Worst Paying States
Kansas $119,270
Louisiana $118,670
Mississippi $117,490
South Carolina $116,940
Missouri $116,680
West Virginia $113,450
Arkansas $113,410
Kentucky $110,370
Alabama $110,020
Tennessee $103,720

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 27, 2024

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Physical Therapist Pay

There were just over 240,800 physical therapists (PTs) working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Physical therapists work in varied healthcare settings, including offices of non-physician practitioners, hospitals, home healthcare agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and physician offices.  Like many other healthcare professionals with advanced technical skills and training, PTs generally earn more money than most occupations.  According to BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for physical therapists was $100,440 per year.  That said, there is a significant disparity from state to state in the average annual wages earned by PTs.  A more extensive examination of BLS annual mean wage data reveals that, as of May 2023, the following were the ten best and worst states for physical therapist pay.

The Best and Worst States for Physical Therapist Pay

Best Paying States
California $114,270
Nevada $111,460
Alaska $110,830
New Jersey $109,280
Texas $106,960
Maryland $105,520
Illinois $104,640
Delaware $104,530
Connecticut $103,870
District of Columbia $103,550

Worst Paying States
Idaho $92,400
Arkansas $92,270
Iowa $91,850
Maine $91,720
Missouri $91,030
Nebraska $90,870
South Dakota $89,050
North Dakota $88,430
Kentucky $87,480
Montana $85,550

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 27, 2024

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Occupational Therapist Pay

There were more than 144,800 occupational therapists employed in the U.S. as of May 2023 per the most current occupational statistical data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Occupational therapists (OTs) work in varied healthcare settings, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home healthcare agencies, and offices with other health practitioners.  A good number of OTs also work in educational settings, mostly elementary and secondary schools.  Like many other healthcare professionals with special skills and training, occupational therapists typically earn more money than most occupations.  According to BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for occupational therapists was $96,790 per year.  From state to state, there is a very wide variation in the average annual wages earned by occupational therapists.  Further examination of BLS data as of May 2023 identifies the following as the ten best and worst states for occupational therapist pay based on annual mean wage levels:

The Best and Worst States for Occupational Therapist Pay

Best Paying States
California $113,550
New York $107,530
Nevada $107,070
New Jersey $105,880
Colorado $104,950
Virginia $102,550
Washington $101,780
Maryland $101,710
Texas $101,610
Oregon $100,910

Worst Paying States
Vermont $86,370
Minnesota $85,840
Iowa $85,790
Utah $85,750
Wisconsin $85,030
Wyoming $84,690
Michigan $84,560
North Dakota $82,450
South Dakota $81,610
Maine $80,590

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 27, 2024

Monday, May 27, 2024

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Great Lakes Region

In the 23-24 U.S. News & World Report survey of American hospitals, more than 770 hospitals were examined for their capabilities in delivering care to adult heart patients.  Hospitals in the survey were measured on the clinical outcomes of their adult heart patients, the scale of their heart care programs, and the level of recognition earned by these hospitals from other members of the cardiology care community.  Among the top 50 rated U.S. hospitals for adult heart care in the 23-24 survey, nine were based in the five-state Great Lakes region.  The region's top-ranked heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic, was also rated as the top adult heart hospital in the United States.  Here's a summary look at the top-ranked heart hospitals in the Great Lakes region and where they ranked nationally for adult heart care in the 23-24 survey:


The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Great Lakes Region

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Great Lakes Region

Cleveland Clinic
Location:  Cleveland 
National Rank:  #1 (See ranking details)

Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Location:  Chicago 
National Rank:  #7 (See ranking details)

Rush University Medical Center
Location:  Chicago
National Rank:  #15 (See ranking details)

Location:  Royal Oaks, MI
National Rank:  #25 (See ranking details)

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
Location:  Ann Arbor, MI
National Rank:  #22 (See ranking details)

Location:  Oak Lawn, IL
National Rank:  #30 (See ranking details)

Location:  Columbus, OH
National Rank:  #36 (See ranking details)

Location:  Chicago
National Rank:  #38 (See ranking details)

Milwaukee, WI
National Rank:  #43 (See ranking details)

For more insight into the metrics used to score adult cardiology and heart surgery hospitals in the 23-24 U.S. News survey, or to learn more about the adult heart care rating of other Great Lakes region hospitals, visit Best Hospitals for Adult Cardiology Care and Heart Surgery.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Pharmacy Technician Pay

Just over 460,000 pharmacy technicians were working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Pharmacy technicians work in varied settings, including health and personal care stores, hospitals, food and general merchandise stores with pharmacy services, and other businesses involved in the distribution of pharmacy products. Pharmacy technicians typically earn lower salaries and wages than workers in most other healthcare occupations.  According to BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for pharmacy technicians was $43,330 per year.  Pharmacy technician pay varies considerably from state to state.  Based on annual mean wage levels, BLS data indicated that as of May 2023 these were the ten best and worst states for pharmacy technician pay:

The Best and Worst States for Pharmacy Technician Pay

Best Paying States
California $55,710
Washington $55,390
District of Columbia $54,030
Oregon $50,440
Alaska $49,810
Colorado $47,150
Massachusetts $46,450
Minnesota $46,430
North Dakota $45,870
Utah $45,400

Worst Paying States
Georgia $39,740
Louisiana $39,540
Pennsylvania $39,250
Tennessee $38,940
Kentucky $38,570
Mississippi $38,260
West Virginia $37,910
Oklahoma $37,410
Arkansas $37,170
Alabama $37,030

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 6, 2024

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Pharmacist Pay

More than 331,000 pharmacists working in the U.S. as of May 2023 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Pharmacists work in varied settings, including health and personal care stores, hospitals, food and general merchandise stores with pharmacy services, and other businesses involved in the distribution of pharmacy products. Like many other healthcare professionals with advanced technical training and skills, pharmacists typically earn higher salaries and wages than most workers in other occupations.  According to BLS estimates, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for pharmacists was $134,790 per year.  While a well-paying occupation, there is considerable variation from state to state in how much pharmacists earn.  Per BLS data, as of May 2023, these were the ten best and worst states for pharmacist pay based on annual mean wage levels:

The Best and Worst States for Pharmacist Pay

Best Paying States
California $157,280
Alaska $151,600
Oregon $149,550
Washington $148,550
Minnesota $143,210
Colorado $141,670
Vermont $140,010
Wisconsin $139,980
New Hampshire $139,560
Hawaii $138,390

Worst Paying States
Iowa $127,780
North Dakota $127,260
Alabama $126,960
Oklahoma $125,710
Mississippi $125,330
Ohio $124,850
Louisiana $124,770
Tennessee $122,820
West Virginia $121,000
Rhode Island $113,110

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 6, 2024

Monday, May 6, 2024

The Best and Worst States for Nursing Assistant Pay

Nursing assistants work in varied healthcare settings, including skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, home healthcare agencies, and other individual and family service environments.  As of May 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that approximately 1,352,000 nursing assistants were employed in the U.S., making it one of the largest healthcare occupations in the U.S.  The BLS further estimated that, as of May 2023, the national mean wage for nursing assistants was $39,610 per year.  From state to state there was considerable disparity in nursing assistants' mean annual wages, with nursing assistants in some regions of the country earning 50% or more than their counterparts elsewhere.  Per BLS data as of May 2023, based on annual mean wage levels the ten best and worst states for nursing assistant pay were:

The Best and Worst States for Nursing Assistant Pay

Best Paying States
District of Columbia $47,860
Alaska $47,080
California $47,070
Oregon $46,970
Washington $46,430
New York $46,020
New Hampshire $45,090
Hawaii $44,990
Massachusetts $44,750
Colorado $43,580

Worst Paying States
North Carolina $35,340
West Virginia $35,340
Georgia $34,890
Tennessee $34,850
South Carolina $34,590
Oklahoma $33,090
Arkansas $32,050
Alabama $31,280
Louisiana $30,420
Mississippi $29,660

(*) annual mean wage ranking among the 50 states and the District of Columbia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on May 6, 2024

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Far West

More than 770 hospitals were evaluated for their effectiveness in providing adult heart care in the most recent (23-24) U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings of American hospitals.  In this analysis, hospitals were scored on multiple metrics related to their adult heart patient outcomes, the scope of their adult heart programs, and the degree of recognition they've earned from the wider cardiac care community.  Among the top 50 ranked U.S. hospitals for adult cardiac care in 23-24, nine were based in six-state Far Western region of the United States.  This included Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which was rated #2 nationally for adult heart care.  Here's a summary look at the top-ranked heart hospitals in the Far West and where they rated nationally for adult heart care in the 23-24 USNWR survey:


The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Far West

The Top-Ranked Heart Hospitals in the Far West

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Location:  Los Angeles 
National Rank:  #2 (See ranking details)

Stanford Hospital
Location:  Stanford, CA
National Rank:  #9 (See ranking details)

UCLA Medical Center
Location:  Los Angeles
National Rank:  #18 (See ranking details)

Location: La Jolla, CA
National Rank:  #24 (See ranking details)

Location: Sacramento, CA
National Rank:  #27 (See ranking details)

UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Heart and Vascular Center
Location:  San Francisco

National Rank:  #32 (See ranking details)

Keck Hospital of USC
Location:  Los Angeles

National Rank:  #41 (See ranking details)

Location:  Seattle, WA
National Rank:  #46 (See ranking details)


To further examine the metrics used to score adult cardiology and heart surgery hospitals in the 23-24 U.S. News survey, or to find the heart care ratings of other Far West hospitals, visit Best Hospitals for Adult Cardiology Care and Heart Surgery