Dartmouth Atlas heat map of healthcare for retirees.

Forbes contributor Howard Gleckman presents the best places in the nation to retire for those who need the best care due to illness. Based on data from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and Medicare, Gleckman maps the quality of local health care for older adults across the country, looking at factors such as hospitalization rates, time spent in doctors' offices, and drug distribution.

For example, Medicare beneficiaries spent the shortest amount of time in hospitals in Bend and Salem, Ore., compared to Monroe, Alexandria, and Shreveport, La., where patients spent an average of 7 days or more.

Gleckman cites other examples from the Dartmouth report, such as the number of dementia patients that receive feeding tubes:

There is no evidence that feeding tubes prolong life or improve outcomes, yet they increase complications. Overall, Dartmouth reports about 6% of decedents with dementia received a feeding tube in the last six months of life. But in Lake Charles, La., the tubes were inserted in 14% of these patients while in Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Madison, Wisconsin, they were used less than 2% of the time.

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