Blog Post

Where the 'Best Hospitals' are

July 16, 2013

    Dan Diamond, Managing Editor

    Having written about the U.S. News hospital rankings for years, I've always been struck that certain (perhaps predictable) regions of the country tend to have a concentration of award-winning organizations.

    And I've also further wondered whether those hospitals are disproportionately located, when you consider the U.S. population; while you'd expect California (with a population of 38 million) to have significantly more top hospitals than say, Massachusetts (population of 6.7 million), that doesn't always seem like the case.

    So thanks to my colleague Rich Van Haste, the Advisory Board's lead infographic designer, here's a simple visualization of exactly that: Where the latest 'Best Hospitals' are.

    Click image to expand.

    You can see from the map above that the 'Best Hospitals,' like the U.S. population, tend to be concentrated on the coasts. And about 60% of award-winners are located in eight states:

    • California—15 hospitals.
    • New York—13 hospitals.
    • Pennsylvania—13 hospitals.
    • Illinois—10 hospitals.
    • Massachusetts—9 hospitals.
    • Ohio—9 hospitals.
    • Texas—9 hospitals.
    • Florida—8 hospitals.

    With respect to population, I was struck that there are a few mild outliers. Almost 9% of the award-winning hospitals are in Pennsylvania, more than double the proportion of U.S. residents who live there (4%). And Massachusetts has 6% of the U.S. News 'Best Hospitals,' but is home to just 2% of the nation's population.

    (Of course, if you further control for other factors, like where all hospitals and med schools are, it's probably less surprising that there are so many 'Top Hospitals' in cities like Philadelphia and Boston. We've got additional coverage of the U.S. News list coming in Wednesday's Daily Briefing, so perhaps we'll break this down a bit more, if readers are interested.)

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