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Data shows Wisconsin among best states for doctors, for now

Wisconsin is a great place to live. The breadth of nature on display through all four seasons and the long continuum of cultural and entertainment experiences available make it attractive. It's also a great place to work, as we noted in a post earlier this year on opportunities for nurses. Is it any wonder that the same source that informed that post finds the same applies to doctors?

However, those with experience in the business and legal facets of health care are aware that just because the numbers seem to add up to a positive environment doesn't mean it is always smooth sailing. The health care seas are always changing, meaning that navigating choppy waters isn't restricted to the Great Lakes and myriad smaller bodies of water that abound in our state. Still, the results of this research are encouraging.

What the study found

The intent of this particular study was to identify the best and worst states for doctors. To generate the data, analysts at WalletHub.com measured 14 things across all the states and the District of Columbia to rank locations by "Opportunity & Competition" as well as "Medical Environment." Overall results were then calculated and weighted averages assigned to arrive at the final rankings. In the end, Wisconsin ranked fourth overall, just below Idaho, Minnesota and Iowa.

One of the specific gauges that boosted Wisconsin higher in the opportunity and competitive areas has to do with malpractice. On one hand, the state ranks first for having the lowest cost for malpractice liability coverage, and third for lowest per capita amount paid out in malpractice awards.

Of course, the numbers were collected and analyzed before a state appeals court declared that state law capping noneconomic damages for malpractice unconstitutional. The issue is headed on further appeal to the state's Supreme Court and a decision is expected sometime next year. We can only wait and see what the outcome will be.

Source: Wisconsin Hospital Association, "WI Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal of Medmal Cap Case," Nov. 17, 2017

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