Report: St. Paul Best in Nation for Health Care

Rochester and Minneapolis followed close behind and ranked third and fourth, respectively, in a ranking recently released by the Commonwealth Fund.

St. Paul took the top spot in a ranking of cities that's based on overall health system performance, while Rochester and Minneapolis took third and fourth place, respectively.

The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on Local Health System Performance ranked 306 cities in the country based on 43 indicators spanning four overall areas of health system performance: access, quality, cost and number of potentially avoidable hospital admissions, and health outcomes.

St. Paul ranked in the top 25 percent on all 10 indicators that Commonwealth Fund considered under health outcomes; indicators included infant mortality, number of adults who are obese, number of adults who smoke, and breast cancer deaths. The city also ranked in the top 25 percent on indicators such as adult preventative care, hospital quality, and diabetic preventative care.

According to the report, the three Minnesota cities were among just a few that ranked in the top 25 percent of performance across all four overall health areas. Health care providers in the Twin Cities, especially, are “often in the vanguard of broader statewide efforts to promote higher-performing and more organized forms of health care delivery,” the report said.

The Twin Cities' health care environment is characterized by nonprofit health plans and physician-led group practices that have developed trust to collaborate on areas of common concern while competing in the marketplace, according to the report.

St. Cloud tied with LaCrosse, Wisconsin for seventh place in the ranking. Overall, Commonwealth Fund found that the top-performing cities are concentrated in the Upper Midwest and the northeast region of the country.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims “to promote a high-performing health-care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.”