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July 16, 2013

U.S. News names its 'Best Hospitals' list

Daily Briefing

    U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday announced its 24th "America's Best Hospitals" report, with Johns Hopkins Hospital reclaiming its spot atop the list after its 21-year streak at No. 1 was broken last year by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

    • The Advisory Board congratulates the 139 member hospitals named to this year's list. Moreover, all 18 of the 'Honor Roll' institutions are Advisory Board members.


    For this year's list, U.S. News evaluated 4,806 hospitals across 16 medical specialties and identified 147 hospitals and health systems that earned high enough scores to be included in the rankings.

    Twelve of the specialty rankings were largely data-driven and included mortality rates, nurse-patient ratios, and procedure volume, among other measures. Those 12 specialty rankings also considered a reputational survey of specialists.

    Meanwhile, U.S. News ranked the remaining four specialties—ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology—based only on a reputational survey of specialists.

    To qualify for this year's 12 data-driven lists, hospitals had to meet at least one of four criteria: be a teaching hospital, be affiliated with a medical school, have at least 200 beds, or have at least 100 beds and offer four or more types of medical technology, such as PET/CT scans and precision radiation therapies. In addition, hospitals had to meet a volume requirement that included a minimum number of Medicare inpatient discharges for certain procedures and conditions between 2009 and 2011, or hospitals had to have received nominations from at least 1% of specialists responding to U.S. News surveys conducted between 2011 and 2013.

    The 1,894 hospitals that met these requirements in at least one specialty then received a score between 0 and 100 based on four factors:

    • Reputation (32.5% of the score),
    • Mortality rate (32.5%),
    • Patient safety (5%); and
    • Care-related factors such as nursing and patient services (30%).

    For the reputation-based rankings, U.S. News asked physicians in each specialty to list hospitals they consider among the best in their field for difficult cases. Hospitals cited by at least 5% of surveyed physicians in a specialty were included in its rankings. 

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    Honor Roll institutions

    U.S. News also assembled an "Honor Roll" recognizing 18 facilities that achieved high scores in six or more specialties. The Honor Roll institutions, ranked from one to 18, are:

      1. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)
      2. MGH (Boston)
      3. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)
      4. Cleveland Clinic
      5. UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)
      6. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago)
      7. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell (New York)
      7. UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)
      9. Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)
      10. UPMC (Pittsburgh)
      11. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
      12. Duke University Medical Center (Durham)
      13. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles)
      14. NYU Langone Medical Center (New York)
      15. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University (St. Louis)
      16. IU Health Academic Health Center (Indianapolis)
      17. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia)
      18. University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Cleveland)

    In a statement, Johns Hopkins leadership congratulated staff for reclaiming the top spot on the U.S. News list. "Given the competitive, rapidly changing health care environment and the realization that U.S. News evaluated more than 4,806 hospitals, we hope you share our incredible pride in achieving this top-tier ranking among the best hospitals in the United States," said Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul Rothman and Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System President Ronald Peterson (Comarow, U.S. News, 7/16; Leonard, U.S. News,7/16; Hopkins release, 7/16).

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