Best Florida Hospitals by Region

I like Florida. My first real experience with the state was back in 1996. I was a young Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps and had just gotten assigned to MATCU school in Millington, TN. After only 3 months, the school was relocated to Naval Air Station Pensacola and I boarded a bus to make the transfer. Once there, I realized that I was about to have a wonderful time… I was 19 years old and living on the Gulf Coast.

I stayed in Pensacola for eight months before graduating and moving to my permanent duty station. But I never lost the love for Florida – and particularly the Gulf Coast. For my snowbird destination, Florida will definitely be high on the list. Knowing that, I wanted to focus a little bit on Florida’s health care options.

Florida has over 260 hospitals, and ten of them are ranked nationally. In addition to those ten, 20 others have met standards which indicate they are strong performers within the state. Here I’ll break down the best hospitals in Florida by region, so you’ll be able to judge what options are available in your retirement location.

 

Central Florida Region

The Central region has 75 total hospitals, and the top five performed well in a recent hospital ranking. Those five are:

  • Tampa General Hospital (Tampa) – Ranked #1 in Florida and #1 in Tampa-St. Petersburg
  • Florida Hospital (Orlando) – Ranked #2 (tie) in Florida and #1 in Orlando
  • Moffit Cancer Center (Tampa) – Ranked #9 in Florida and #2 in Tampa-St. Petersburg
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center (Orlando) – Ranked #14 in Florida and #2 in Orlando
  • South Lake Hospital (Clermont) – Ranked #23 in Florida and #3 in Orlando

 

Florida Panhandle Region

Of the 33 hospitals in the Panhandle, none met the standards to qualify as strong performing hospitals. This doesn’t mean that quality health care is not available to those of us who choose to retire in the panhandle, just that we may have to travel a bit further to receive the same quality as our friends who chose other parts of Florida.

 

Northern Florida Region

The top six hospitals in the Northern region, of 31 total hospitals, are:

  • Shands at the University of Florida (Gainesville) – Ranked #2 (tie) in Florida
  • Baptist Medical Center (Jacksonville) – Ranked #5 in Florida and #1 in Jacksonville
  • Shands Jacksonville Medical Center (Jacksonville) – Ranked #11 in Florida and #2 in Jacksonville
  • Memorial Hospital (Jacksonville) – Ranked #14 in Florida and #3 in Jacksonville
  • Mayo Clinic (Jacksonville) – Ranked #17 in Florida and #4 in Jacksonville
  • St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Jacksonville) – Ranked #23 in Florida and #5 in Jacksonville

 

Southern Florida Region

For quantity and quality, the Southern Florida hospitals can’t be beat. Couple these choices with the fantastic weather and year-round outdoor activities (golfing, anyone?!), and you’ll be enjoying a healthy life to the fullest. The top 19 hospitals in the Southern region, of 117 total hospitals, are:

  • South Miami Hospital (Miami) – Ranked #4 in Florida and #1 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami) – Ranked #6 in Florida and #2 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Cleveland Clinic Florida (Weston) – Ranked #7 in Florida and #3 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital (Sarasota) – Ranked #8 in Florida
  • Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami (Miami) – Ranked #10 in Florida and #4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Baptist Hospital of Miami (Miami) – Ranked #12 (tie) in Florida and #5 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Memorial Hospital West (Pembroke Pines) – Ranked #12 (tie) in Florida and #5 (tie) in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Mount Sinai Medical Center (Miami Beach) – Ranked #16 in Florida and #87 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Doctors Hospital (Coral Gables) – Ranked #18 in Florida and #8 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Holy Cross Hospital (Fort Lauderdale) – Ranked #19 in Florida and #9 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Homestead Hospital (Homestead) – Ranked #20 (tie)in Florida and #10 (tie) in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • University of Miami Hospital (Miami) – Ranked #20 (tie) in Florida and #10 (tie) in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Naples Community Hospital (Naples) – Ranked # 22 in Florida
  • Boca Raton Regional Hospital (Boca Raton) – Ranked #23 (tie) in Florida and #12 (tie) in Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Cape Canaveral Hospital (Cocoa Beach) – Ranked #23 (tie) in Florida
  • Florida Hospital Heartland (Sebring) – Ranked #23 (tie) in Florida
  • Gulf Coast Medical Center (Fort Myers) – Ranked #23 in Florida (tie)
  • Holmes Regional Medical Center (Melbourne) – Ranked #23 in Florida (tie)
  • Florida Hospital Heartland (Sebring) – Ranked #23 (tie) in Florida and #12 (tie) in Miami-Fort Lauderdale

 

In general, it looks like the further south you go the better the options get. The #1 ranked hospital in Florida is in Tampa, and 8 of the top 10 are located in or south of Orlando. Combining this information with top snowbird destinations, the coast of SW FL lines up well with my needs. The area from Tampa/St. Pete down to Naples are popular with snowbirds and offer the quality health care services that my family and I may need in the future.

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