Editors note: This story is part of a new partnership between TheStreet and the personal finance site Bundle.
BOSTON (TheStreet) -- When medical needs arise, are some states better places to be? Are there places where you are out of luck and resigned to less than top-shelf treatment?
It was with these questions in mind that TheStreet and Bundle set out to look at how health care services compare state by state. While other assessments and "top 10 lists" zero in on more granular metrics, our survey focused on top-of-mind items for consumers.
Having your ailment treated quickly and effectively is certainly the primary objective. To that end, you want access to health care and adequate space at hospitals to accommodate you. You want to be able to see a doctor, have specialists available and be assured staffing levels ensure attentive care. Once you feel better and the bills start to arrive, you want to feel you are paying a fair price.
Among the criteria we used was the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people, the degree to which medical care was cost prohibitive, medical staffing levels (encompassing doctors, nurses and physician assistants), the average daily cost of in-patient care and the average per capita spending on health care services annually. The data was culled from Bundle.com's proprietary data on spending, government reports and information aggregated by the Kaiser Family Health Foundation.
The data proved surprising, or even counterintuitive, when smaller, more rural and less populated states ranked as well, or better, than larger states with the brand and cache of world-renowned institutions.
North Dakota and South Dakota -- compared with other states as well as national averages -- topped our list, followed by Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Iowa.