Sometimes we don't know how good we have it in South Dakota.

In the Sioux Falls area alone we have two major health systems - Avera and Sanford - which have elevated our level of care greatly over the past several decades.

But even outside of South Dakota's largest city things are very good when it comes to having access to hospitals.

Access to Hospitals

So good that a new study ranks the Mount Rushmore State as the best place in America for access to hospitals.

The numbers from the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Health Care Cost Institute show that South Dakota has 8.9 hospitals per 100,000 people, a big difference from New York and Maryland, who ranked dead last at one facility per 100,000.

Overall, South Dakota was the fifth-best state in America for hospitals above the national average for providing quality care (34.1%). Utah was number-one, while New York was dead last with more than 40 percent of hospitals below the national average.

Costs of care were also analyzed in the study.

South Dakota had the sixth biggest drop in inpatient care costs - down 3.9 percent from 2013 to 2017 ($1,409 per person in 2017), while logging the second-lowest daily inpatient care costs at non-profit hospitals ($1,519) and state/government hospitals ($442) , but the second-highest daily rate at for-profit facilities ($3,956).

The Empire State had the most medical centers ranking below the national average at 41.7%

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