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Which FL cities have the happiest hospital patients?

Pensacola has the most-satisfied hospital patients in Florida, according to an analysis of Medicare data. But if you guess Miami has the least satisfied -- just based on the other problems of Florida's largest population center -- you'd be wrong.

The least-satisfied hospital patients in Florida, according to surveys, are in Ocala and Fort Myers.

A Kaiser Health News analysis of Medicare survey data offers a number of surprises for Florida. (Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly credited the analysis to another organization).

The Florida chart says Miami patients have some of the highest satisfaction ratings in the state. They complain less than those in St. Petersburg, Tampa or Orlando.

It's not hard science, but it matters. Medicare will be paying higher rates in the future to hospitals that get high patient-satisfaction ratings.

The ratings are based on questions about how well patients' pain was controlled, whether doctors and nurses did a good job of communicating, and whether patients got adequate instructions before being released.

AKaiser Health Newsarticleabout the survey, published in the New York Times, noted that New York City and California scores tend to be lower than in the South and MidWest. Analysts theorized that certain regions are made up of people who have high expectations and are tough to please. Less polite. Grumpier.

But by that logic, one would have to assume that people in Miami are more polite and easy to please than those in most other parts of Florida. That’s not an opinion that’s often expressed.

The relative grumpiness of patients by geography is only one reason to read the results with caution. Another is that the chart lumps all the hospitals in a region together.

Click here for the chart.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.