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Where are hospitals most expensive (and least expensive) in America?

Every major US city ranked by average Amino Cost Rating, a measure of hospital expensiveness

hospital price tag

Over the past few weeks, we published hundreds of Amino Cost Ratings for hospitals in eight big metro areas—Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, and San Francisco.

These reports show just how much hospital costs can vary, even within city limits. But we wanted to take a look at the bigger picture. Where in the country are hospitals most and least expensive?

To do this, we averaged all Amino Cost Ratings for hospitals in the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States. Then, we ranked those city-specific averages to identify the most expensive and least expensive areas.

Below, you'll find:

Cities with the most expensive hospitals

These 10 metropolitan areas have the highest average Amino Cost Rating, meaning hospitals in these cities are, on average, relatively expensive.

Top 10 cities with the most expensive hospitals
Large metro areas with the highest average Amino Cost Rating
Metro Area Average Amino Cost Rating
1 Milwaukee, WI
    3.27
2 San Jose, CA
    2.90
3 San Francisco, CA
    2.70
4 Sacramento, CA
    2.63
5 San Diego, CA
    2.58
6 Seattle, WA
    2.35
7* Louisville, KY
    2.22
8* Minneapolis, MN
    2.22
9 Indianapolis, IN
    2.18
10 Portland, OR
    2.14
An asterisk (*) indicates a tie between cities, which are then ranked alphabetically. © 2017 Amino Inc.

Cities with the least expensive hospitals

These 10 metropolitan areas have the lowest average Amino Cost Rating, meaning hospitals in these cities are, on average, relatively inexpensive.

Top 10 cities with the least expensive hospitals
Large metro areas with the lowest average Amino Cost Rating
Metro Area Average Amino Cost Rating
1 Buffalo, NY
    1.06
2 Rochester, NY
    1.25
3 Baltimore, MD
    1.33
4 Tampa, FL
    1.39
5 Philadelphia, PA
    1.42
6* Dallas, TX
    1.46
7* New Orleans, LA
    1.46
8* New York, NY
    1.46
9* Pittsburgh, PA
    1.46
10 Birmingham, AL
    1.50
An asterisk (*) indicates a tie between cities, which are then ranked alphabetically. © 2017 Amino Inc.

How we rate hospitals by cost

Amino’s Cost Ratings are an easy to understand, symbolic system of dollar signs ranging from one dollar sign denoting “inexpensive” to four dollar signs denoting “expensive.” Cost Ratings appear on the profiles of all facilities (hospitals, imaging centers, and urgent care centers) in our Amino Plus experience for employers and their employees.

The average Amino Cost Ratings you see in this post are averages of Amino Cost Ratings for hospitals in each metro area. For more information, check out our methodology or this blog post from our Head of Data Science.

List of all cities ranked by average Amino Cost Rating

Below are average Amino Cost Ratings for every large metropolitan area in the United States (those with a population of 1 million or more).

How expensive are the hospitals in your city?
All metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, ranked by average Amino Cost Rating
Metro Area Average Amino Cost Rating
1 Buffalo, NY
    1.06
2 Rochester, NY
    1.25
3 Baltimore, MD
    1.33
4 Tampa, FL
    1.39
5 Philadelphia, PA
    1.42
6* Dallas, TX
    1.46
7* New Orleans, LA
    1.46
8* New York, NY
    1.46
9* Pittsburgh, PA
    1.46
10* Birmingham, AL
    1.50
11* Grand Rapids, MI
    1.50
12* Raleigh, NC
    1.50
13* San Antonio, TX
    1.50
14* Cleveland, OH
    1.57
15* Washington, DC
    1.57
16 Miami, FL
    1.61
17 Las Vegas, NV
    1.62
18 Austin, TX
    1.68
19* Columbus, OH
    1.69
20* Hartford, CT
    1.69
21 Tucson, AZ
    1.70
22* Houston, TX
    1.72
23* Orlando, FL
    1.72
24 Detroit, MI
    1.74
25 Phoenix, AZ
    1.75
26* Kansas City, MO
    1.79
27* Richmond, VA
    1.79
28* St. Louis, MO
    1.79
29 Providence, RI
    1.85
30* Boston, MA
    1.86
31* Denver, CO
    1.86
32 Jacksonville, FL
    1.88
33* Cincinnati, OH
    1.90
34* Memphis, TN
    1.90
35* Nashville, TN
    1.90
36* Los Angeles, CA
    1.92
37* Salt Lake City, UT
    1.92
38* Virginia Beach, VA
    1.92
39 Chicago, IL
    2.06
40* Charlotte, NC
    2.08
41* Oklahoma City, OK
    2.08
42 Riverside, CA
    2.11
43 Atlanta, GA
    2.12
44 Portland, OR
    2.14
45 Indianapolis, IN
    2.18
46* Louisville, KY
    2.22
47* Minneapolis, MN
    2.22
48 Seattle, WA
    2.35
49 San Diego, CA
    2.58
50 Sacramento, CA
    2.63
51 San Francisco, CA
    2.70
52 San Jose, CA
    2.90
53 Milwaukee, WI
    3.27
An asterisk (*) indicates a tie between cities, which are then ranked alphabetically. © 2017 Amino Inc.
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