Women and children in Florida continue to face challenges with health care coverage and access to care, but score high on good health behaviors, according to a new report by the United Health Foundation.
Using the WHO definition of health, America’s Health Rankings 2016: Health of Women and Children’s Report examined health outcomes and four areas of health determinants—behaviors, community & environment, policy, and clinical care— to arrive at the state rankings. Florida ranked 40 out of 50 states overall in the analysis.
Particular challenges faced by the state include:
- Nearly one-quarter of women of reproductive age (15-44) are uninsured. Florida ranks near the bottom of states (49th) in percentage of uninsured women.
- Nearly one-third of low risk births in the state are delivered by Cesarean Section. The state ranks 48 out of 50 states on this clinical measure.
- More than 27% of children age 0-17 have inadequate health insurance coverage, giving Florida the lowest ranking of all states.
- Nearly 60% of pregnancies are unintended (47 out of 50 states).
- Thirty percent of children age 0-17 lack a supportive neighborhood (47 out of 50).
- Only 36% of children with special health care needs have a medical home (47 out of 50).
Despite its low rankings on clinical care and policy compared to other states, Florida earned high marks on key health behaviors among women and children. Fewer women smoke (8.5%) and drink alcohol (5.2%) during pregnancy in Florida than most other states. There is also a low prevalence of tobacco use among children age 12-17 (6.6%). And only 5.1% of children missed 11 or more school days in the past year compared to 6.2% nationally. The report notes about 13% of children age 0-3 received a home visit.
Sixty measures of health and well-being are included in the rankings, all selected by an advisory steering group of experts in the field of women’s and children’s health, according to the report. Data were incorporated from 18 individual sources to create a wide-ranging snapshot of health. The report is intended to shine light on the strengths and challenges faced by the nation and offer state-level data for community leaders, public health officials and policymakers to use as a roadmap to improve the health of women and children within their states.