Mower falls in health rankings

Published 10:14 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mower County’s positive momentum on countywide health has stalled a bit, according to an annual health ranking of Minnesota’s counties.

Mower fell from 35th to 43rd out of Minnesota’s 87 counties in the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, which was released Wednesday.

Mower ranked 43rd in terms of the county’s health outcomes, which factors the rate of collective number of years of life lost from people dying before age 75, the percentage of people who report being in fair or poor health, and the rate of low birth-weight infants.mowersrankings

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The county ranked 73th in health factors — down from 70 last year — which factors health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Mower’s clinical care score — which in effect measures how well residents can access care — went from 73 to 69 this year. That said, Mower still ranks worse than the state average in a variety of factors, including 12 percent of residents uninsured compared to 9 percent statewide. In addition, there are fewer physicians, mental health providers and dentists per capita than the Minnesota average.

Mower had one doctor per 1,969 residents, compared to the state average of one per 1,113 residents.

Mower had one dentist per ever 2,185 residents, compared to the state average of one per 1,529 residents.

Mower also had 60 preventable hospital stays over the past year, compared to a state average of 45.

Mower does rank higher than the state in terms of seniors eligible for diabetic monitoring, as well as the percentage of eligible female Medicare enrollees that receive mammography screening.

The rankings show Mower has more adult obesity and teen births than the state average.

Carver County ranked No. 1 in the overall health rankings. Steel was 12th, Dodge was 14th, Olmsted was 15th and Freeborn was 64th.