Cities often take pride in the level of amenities they offer their residents, comparing the vitality of their art-c scenes, the number of acclaimed restaurants, even the miles of bike paths. But how do American metropolises compare when it comes to access to medical care?
According to the Vitals Index third report on “America’s Top Cities for Access to Health Care,” Miami ranks as the best place for health care in the nation. The Magic City ranks near the top for per-capita ratio of both hospitals and primary care physicians, and it boasts short appointment wait times.
Miami ousted Cleveland, the previous winner and home of the famed Cleveland Clinic, the second largest hospital in America by revenues. Other top cities in the rankings this year included Milwaukee, Omaha, Cleveland and Seattle.
With 26% of Americans belonging to the aging Baby Boomer generation and an increase in lifestyle diseases like obesity and diabetes, access to healthcare is an important quality-of-life factor in major cities. Large metropolises, like New York and Los Angeles ranked in the bottom 10, with less doctors and hospitals per resident than smaller cities.
“We’ve seen massive consolidation among hospitals, and there’s only a fixed number of doctors graduating from medical schools to replace those who are retiring,” said Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals. “Luckily, trained medical staff like doctor assistants and nurse practitioners along with telemedicine and health apps can bring affordable quality medicine to more people in both rural and urban areas.”
To create the list of “America’s Top Cities for Access to Health Care,” Vitals analyzed the number of hospitals and primary care physicians available in each city on a per-capita basis. Patient-reported metrics such as doctor quality, ease of getting an appointment and wait times, data that’s part of Vitals collection of over six million reviews, were also calculated into the final rankings.
The best cities for access to healthcare in 2016 are: