Friday, March 20, 2015

Health Care

Talking about health care is not that exciting.  And working in an industry that is disjointed at best and chaotic at worst is sometimes not that fun.  But health care in Rochester deserves special mention.  This no-name city has somehow learned to create logic out of an otherwise illogical system.  A culture of collaboration in the local medical community is at least partly responsible for the following:

  • In the early 1990's, as the Clintons unsuccessfully pushed for healthcare reform, Rochester was repeatedly cited as an example worth emulating
  • An Institute of Medicine report from 2013 which studied Medicare spending in 306 metro areas identified Rochester as having the lowest per member per month Medicare spending in the country
  • When New York State rolled out its health insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Rochester had the lowest monthly premiums in the state
  • Commercial insurance costs in Rochester are 30% below national average
  • As of 2011, among metro areas with over one million people, Rochester was tied for the second smallest share of uninsured citizens at 8% (number one was Buffalo at 7.5%)


  1. It is nice to read fact based information that makes Rochester a special place. Healthcare is one of the key concerns of people, glad to read that Rochester has it right. Alka and Vinay, Old Lyme, CT

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog. My wife and I moved here also in 2010 for residency and then decided to stay after finishing because life is easy and nice here, especially when balancing family responsibilities. I heard about Rochester as they have a residency program that I was interested in and that is what drew me to the area. I was wondering, given the obvious branding problem here, how did the city even get on your radar to start with? Thanks,

  3. Hi Tony. Thanks for reading. As part of my job search during fellowship, I used a physician recruiter and asked that he focus on the states of MA, CT, NY, NJ, MD/VA, and IL. Rochester, being in NY, popped up with a job opening. Given that Rochester was not in the part of NY I had in mind, my initial reaction was "no way." For some reason, I decided to read a bit about the area and was pretty shocked with the offerings (schools, Finger Lakes, Eastman School of Music, etc. all for a great price.) I followed through and in the end actually chose Rochester over CT, Washington DC, and Chicago (granted the job was extremely appealing.) I'm happy I was able to fight through the negative commentary and perception and make a great decision.