America’s Best Health Care

Health care in the United States is a topic of frequent debate, both on a national and international level. Our services are frequently compared to those of other nations, and the world’s eyes have been watching as our politicians squabble over the best way to manage the nation’s care systems. Americans are always looking to receive the best care in their area, but they don’t want to pay premium prices or find themselves outside their insurance network. Have you ever wonder where the best health care in the nation can be found – especially the least expensive or most efficient care? We’ve made it easy for you and gathered a list of the top ten best places for health care in the United States. A national health policy group, the Commonwealth Fund, chose this list in 2012. These placements were found on the Commonwealth Fund’s 2012 scorecard, which ranked 306 national health care markets (defined by their hospitals’ service boundaries) to find the best places to receive care. The 43 scoring areas included access, healthy outcomes, avoidable cost and use, and prevention and treatment. As reported by, the rankings were based on data collected mostly between 2008 and 2010, and sources included government-funded surveys.

  1. St. Paul, Minnesota
  2. Dubuque, Iowa
  3. Rochester, Minnesota
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  5. Appleton, Wisconsin
  6. Santa Rosa, California
  7. LaCrosse, Wisconsin
  8. St. Cloud, Minnesota
  9. Manchester, New Hampshire
  10. San Mateo County, California

The quality of the health care Americans receive is largely based on the area of the country in which they reside. Residents of rural areas typically have a more difficult time accessing quality care than citizens of metropolitan areas. Markets in the South were among the lowest-scoring areas in the country, specifically in Louisiana and Mississippi. Although these areas did better overall than the other 296 healthcare markets, there were certainly markets that scored higher than these finalists in specific categories. For example, only 62% of St. Paul patients reported that hospital staff managed pain and assisted with tasks, while more than half of other markets boasted a higher percentage in that category. The Huffington Post reported earlier this year that American health care, as a whole, was ranked 46th out of 48 countries in a recent study conducted by Bloomberg. The study’s goal was to rank all participating nations in terms of efficiency in health care. The US also boasted the most costly health care among participating nations – ours is the only country with costs exceeding 17% of GDP per capita. The World Health Organization released a controversial report in 2000 that lambasted the cost and effectiveness of American health care, ranking it 37th overall. As reported by the Huffington Post, the World Health Organization declined to rank countries in its 2010 World Health Report, based on the backlash received over 2000’s rankings.

The American health system, although controversial, offers some of the best care in the world and has made some incredible advances in medical technology and treatments. Rankings may change, but groundbreaking discoveries will always stay the same.

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Mike Hall is a guest contributor for, the Web’s top resource for physician jobs.