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2021 Health Value Dashboard™

Click here for the 2023 Health Value Dashboard

What is the Health Value Dashboard?

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio Health Value Dashboard is a tool to track Ohio’s progress toward health value — a composite measure of Ohio’s performance on population health outcomes and healthcare spending. In ranked profiles, the Dashboard examines Ohio’s rank and trend performance relative to other states across seven domains. In addition, through a series of equity profiles, the Dashboard highlights gaps in outcomes between groups for some of Ohio’s most systematically disadvantaged populations.



Where does Ohio rank?

  • In 2021, Ohio ranked 47 out of 50 states and D.C. on health value. This means that Ohioans are living less healthy lives and spending more on health care than people in most other states.
  • Ohio ranks in the bottom quartile on 29% of ranked metrics and in the top quartile on only 12% of ranked metrics.

Why does Ohio rank poorly?

Ohio’s healthcare spending is mostly on costly downstream care to treat health problems. This is largely because of a lack of attention and effective action in the following areas:

1. Children. Childhood adversity and trauma have long-term consequences

  • Many of Ohio’s children experience early adversity and trauma, including exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as child abuse and neglect, living in poverty and experiencing racism.
  • Ohio ranks in the bottom half of states on measures that put children at increased risk of exposure to adversity and trauma, including adult depression, drug overdose deaths, excessive drinking and incarceration.

2. Equity. Ohioans with the worst outcomes face systemic disadvantages

  • Racism and other forms of discrimination drive troubling differences in outcomes across Ohio. This includes racist and discriminatory beliefs and interactions among Ohioans and structural racism and discrimination embedded within systems and across sectors, rooted in ageism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia and other “isms” or “phobias.”
  • Ohioans experiencing the worst health outcomes are also more likely to be exposed to risk factors for poor health. These include trauma and adversity, toxic stress, violence and stigma, and inequitable access to resources.

3. Prevention. Sparse public health workforce leads to missed opportunities for prevention

  • Limited investment in public health. Only three other states spend less on public health than Ohio, limiting public health workforce and ability to proactively implement comprehensive approaches to our state’s greatest health challenges.
  • Patchwork approach to community-based prevention. Ohio struggles on several outcomes that could be prevented, such as addiction and chronic disease. Stretched thin by the many demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health departments now have even fewer resources to devote to these issues.

Nine policies that work to improve health value

By adopting evidence-informed policies and working with private-sector partners, policymakers can make Ohio a leader in health value. Below are examples of policy opportunities for the state.

1. Children

  • Close widening academic gaps by prioritizing federal COVID-19 relief funds for high-intensity tutoring, chronic absenteeism interventions and school-based trauma counseling for children who have experienced adversity, disruption and learning loss
  • Strengthen K-12 student wellness by allocating funds to evidence-based drug prevention, social-emotional learning and school-based mental health
  • Expand access to quality early childhood care and education by increasing eligibility for Ohio’s child care subsidy to at least 200% of the federal poverty level, paying childcare workers more, and streamlining rapid access to child care

2. Equity

  • Advance anti-racist and anti-discriminatory policies by promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in leadership; engaging in training on racism, discrimination and its impacts; and improving access to culturally and linguistically competent information and services
  • Level the playing field, starting with increasing funding and/or allocating one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding to lead hazard mitigation; construction of accessible, affordable, quality housing for people with very low incomes; rental assistance initiatives and eviction prevention
  • Identify gaps in outcomes and evaluate policy impacts by building systems and capacity across the public and private sectors to collect and break out data on systematically disadvantaged Ohioans (e.g., race and ethnicity, disability status, education and income)

3. Prevention

  • Strengthen the public health workforce and data systems by ensuring that the state and local health departments have diverse and adequate staffing for epidemiology, communicable disease control and communications, and by fully implementing the recommendations of the March 2021 Ohio Auditor of State Performance Audit
  • Prevent addiction and overdose deaths by dedicating a portion of future revenue from tobacco and alcohol taxes, opioid settlements and pandemic relief toward smoking prevention, addiction treatment, recovery supports, harm reduction and overdose reversal
  • Prevent chronic disease through improved access to healthy food by streamlining access to SNAP and WIC for eligible Ohioans and expanding Produce Perks and Produce Prescriptions

Additional 2021 Dashboard Resources


2021 Health Value Dashboard webinar