Metro Phoenix ranks in top 20 of healthiest big cities

Metropolitan Phoenix is not only the fastest growing urban region in the nation, it’s also one of the healthiest, according to the Healthgrades 2019 Analysis of Top Quality Hospitals and National Health Index.

Healthgrades, which amasses healthcare information on more than three million healthcare providers and has 100 million online users, recently released rankings of the nation’s top 100 cities “leading the way in healthcare” and top 100 hospitals for clinical outcomes.

Metro Phoenix ranks in the top 10 large cities in the nation for high quality hospitals and the top 20 healthiest large cities. Cincinnati, Ohio, is ranked as the No. 1 healthiest large city. Rochester, MN, won the top spot for all cities.  

To calculate the rankings, Healthgrades analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau, Healthgrades’ hospital quality ratings, and survey scores and provider information.

Researchers evaluated more than a dozen variables for the national health index and grouped them into four factors: hospital quality, population health, access to care, and local specialists.

For its hospital quality ratings, Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes from 45 million Medicare medical claims from 4,500 hospitals.

Here’s how metro Phoenix metro stacks up:

2019 National Health Index  The metro area ranks 19th as the healthiest large city in America due to three factors: residents score very well for health status, have lower levels of risky health behaviors, and have access to high-quality hospitals. Factors of concern are limited access to healthcare and lack of local specialists.

Here are the specific rankings for Phoenix Metro:

Hospital quality No. 7 among large cities and 15th for all cities. Rankings are based on the percentage of hospital 5-star quality ratings, percentage of hospitals that demonstrate clinical excellence across multiple conditions and procedures, and the market’s average statistical measure of hospital clinical outcomes.

Population health No. 30 among large cities. The ranking is based on the percentage of residents who report good or better health, normal body mass index, participation in physical activities in the past month, and a visit to the dentist in the past year.

Access to care No. 40 among large cities. The ratio of primary care doctors to the population  is lower than the national average. This category looks at the percentage of residents that can afford healthcare, have a personal doctor or healthcare provider, and had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years if they are 50 to 75 years old.

2019 America’s Best Hospitals Healthgrades analyzed outcomes of 45 million Medicare claims from more than 4,500 hospitals to find the top hospitals. These are hospitals that exhibit exceptional, comprehensive, and consistent quality year over year. Patients are more likely to have a successful treatment without major complications and have a lower chance of dying at these hospitals.

Arizona has four hospitals on the list:

-Chandler Regional Medical Center (Dignity Health) and Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix received the highest distinction of being in the top one percent of hospitals in the nation for providing overall clinical excellence across a broad spectrum of conditions and procedures consistently for at least six consecutive years.

Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center in Glendale are in the top two percent of hospitals in the nation for exhibiting clinical excellence for at least three consecutive years.

For a complete list of rankings, visit: Healthgrades 2019 rankings.

Victoria Harker

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