Sarasota Tops in Medical Care


Sarasota again ratcheted up its stature as a top destination for home buyers who highlight access to superior medical facilities and professional health care services as a top priority in their checklist. An online consumer health site, BetterDoctor, cited in a study that Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) as the best performer in its field in the United States, having the least hospital readmissions, complications and death rates. Reporting of such data is now required for all hospitals as part of compliance under the Affordable Care Act.

SMH topped 31 other cities including Ashville, NC, Chattanooga, TN, Houston, TX, Rancho Mirage, CA, and Shreveport, LA, in the BetterDoctor report. The patient data points included in the study were: complication rates for hip/knee replacement; pneumonia 30-day mortality rate; death rate for stroke; and heart failure 30-day readmission rate. 

Various initiatives are in place to keep SMH’s readmission low, according to Dr. Steve Taylor, the hospital’s chief medical officer. One of these, he said is the congestive heart failure program, which makes available to SMH patients not only a clinic but also appointment reminders and medication consultations. “We’re trying to do everything we can to keep patients at home,” The Observer news online quoted him as saying.

High ranking affirmed

Sarasota Tops in Medical Care

SMH’s excellence was likewise highlighted in a recent ranking on the top small cities for retirees as conducted by credit card promoter NerdWallet. With health care quality based on Medicare’s Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems as one the rating criteria, nearly 80% of patients that NerdWallet surveyed rated the SMH either a 9 or a 10 out of 10.

Overall, Sarasota came out as the third best for retirement among the 971 cities with populations under 10,000 covered by the company’s poll. The other parameters of the survey include percentage of the population age 65 and above; the average home price in the March 2014-February 2015 period; taxation or non-taxation of Social Security benefits; median household income growth as per Census data, employment rate, and public transportation access. Only Fort Lee, NJ, and Bethel Park, PA, topped Sarasota based on these criteria plus that on health care quality.

Best doctors live here

That SMH and Sarasota’s health care system excel is due to the adoption of cutting-edge medical technology and the most stringent safety standards in the world. As important, Sarasota also happens to attract some of the best trained physicians and other medical professionals, drawn by the area’s superb career opportunities and alluring lifestyle possibilities including well-developed and well-established communities.

Among the Sarasota residential enclaves medical professionals favor living in is Paradise Shores, a quiet and tranquil waterfront neighborhood which is walking distance from the SMH. This community has some high-end Sarasota homes for sale priced in the $2 million range, featuring floor areas of up to 4,550 square feet.

Searches for nearby luxury Sarasota homes for sale typically shift to Harbor Acres, also a waterfront community conveniently located west of the Tamiami Trail. Sales listings here start at the $1 million mark and top at close to the $6 million level.