While Grand Junction has some of the highest-quality and lowest-cost heathcare in the nation, McAllen, Tex., has some of the lowest-quality and highest-cost. According to disease rates calculated by Daniel Gilden in “The Health Care Blog,” McAllen is twice as unhealthy as Grand Junction.
That raises a question: Is Grand Junction merely lucky in a healthier population, or is its emphasis on prevention and coverage of the poor actually having a major effect on preventing these illnesses?
Below is Gilden’s comparison of diseases — ranging from diabetes to heart disease and arthritis — between residents of the counties surrounding Grand Junction and McAllen.
Disease Prevalence among Medicare recipients, 2006
Receiving pre-natal care
|Rocky Mountain Health Plans||96%|
|Source: Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Health Outcomes and Costs in Western Colorado, 2008|