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Arkansas, the Natural State, is known for its beautiful waterways and abundant wildlife. However, the state’s scores on public health indicators isn’t nearly so pretty, with the state ranking 48th in the most recent America’s Health Rankings. The state fares poorly in several categories: children living in poverty (48th); low immunization of among adolescents (45th); incidence of infectious diseases (46th); incidence of chlamydia (43rd); cancer deaths (46th); infant mortality (47th); and, obesity (50th).
Deaths related to cancer in Arkansas have increased 10% since 1990. The state has almost approximately 2.8 million residents, with more than 17% of the population uninsured. The state’s largest demographic is children ages 0-18 (25%), followed by 65+ (16%).The average cost of an inpatient hospital stay before insurance is $1,638 per day based on 2014 data, according to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Arkansas spent over $17billion in health care expenditures in 2014. The state has 81 hospitals and 42 HMO groups with over 319,200 members enrolled.