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Survey Looks at Cities Spending the Most on Health Care

Posted on 01 Aug 2011

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According to personal finance and business site, the amount spent on health care in the United States continues to vary widely by city. If you just look at Medicare, spending between cities can differ by as much as $10,000 per person.

To find which cities spent the most and least on health care, looked at America's 100 most populous cities and compiled data from Kaiser Family Health Foundation and The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Its findings show that more health care spending doesn't necessarily result in better access. Washington D.C., for example, has only the third highest cost per patient, despite boasting the most hospital beds, the most doctors and the most registered nurses in the country.

Urban centers generally offer better medical services than rural areas, and often that means they can be more expensive, too. Per capita Medicare costs are highest in major cities like Los Angeles ($11,303), New York ($12,714) and Miami ($17,274), according to Reuters. A recent paper from the United Health Center for Health & Reform Modernization found that there are only 65 primary care physicians per 100,000 rural Americans, compared to 105 per 100,000 urban and suburban citizens. For a breakdown of health care costs by state, take a look at this infographic.

In the coming years, though, healthcare costs are expected to go up across the board. Due to an aging population and the increasing costs of medical innovations, the nation will spend an estimated $4.6 trillion, or $13,710 per person on health care by 2020, compared to a projected $2.7 trillion or $8,650 per person this year.