Primary Listings

America’s 50 Best Hospitals list (Medicare) 2018 (pdf)

HealthGrades choice for the top 50 hospitals and 100 best in the US, based on clinical quality for Medicare patients over 3 years ending 2016. List shows which hospitals have held clinical excellence for 6 years (top 1%), and those for 3 consecutive years (top 2%). They examined complication rates or survival rates for 32 diagnoses (such as heart failure, COPD, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, pancreatitis, sepsis) or surgical procedures (such as hip or knee replacement, gall bladder removal, back surgery, bowel obstruction, prostatectomy, angioplasty, valve surgery, and heart bypass)

Baby-Friendly Hospitals (breast-feeding)

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation. As of May 2018, there were 513 hospitals in the US & Puerto Rico who met the program criteria, which are based on Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Blue Distinction Centers: Cardiac, Cancer, Hip, Knee, Maternity, Spine, Bariatric Surgery, Organ Transplants

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have designated national Blue Distinction Centers meeting their standards and selection criteria for bariatric weight loss surgery, cardiac (heart) care, organ transplants (e.g. adult and pediatric bone marrow/stem cell, heart, lung, liver, pancreas (adult only) transplants ), total knee and hip replacement, cancer care, maternity care and spine surgery. Quality criteria can be found from the home page. Fertility care distinction to launch Jan. 1, 2019. Interactive database; updated 2018

CareChex America’s Top Quality Hospitals 2018

Lists of top 10% and top 25% hospitals (as well as identifying bottom quartile and average performers) in specialties such as bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac surgery, inpatient gall bladder surgery, GI care, general surgery, hip fractures, hip or knee joint replacement, organ transplants, spinal fusion, stroke care, and more. 2018 report covers Medicare claims data and HCAHPS patient satisfaction from 2014 to 2016. Announcing award-winning hospitals requires license fee to be paid. CareChex is a division of Quantros (which acquired Comparion Medical Analytics in 2016), a private equity firm with a for-profit information company, which appears to be a competitor to HealthGrades

Consumer Choice Awards (2016-2017) by NRC – hospitals

The National Research Corporation lists the winners of its annual Consumer Choice Awards for most-preferred hospitals in selected markets. Winners were determined by general consumer perceptions on hospital quality and image in NRC’s annual Healthcare Market Guide ticker study. 2016/17 winners

CVI Top 100 Hospitals for Community Value, 2017

Cleverley + Associates published its 2017 Top 100 Hospitals according to their Community Value Index (CVI), which balances ten measures in 4 areas: Hospital Quality, Cost of care, Pricing (charge structure) and financial viability and plant reinvestment. While detailed methodology is not available online, we like the idea of focusing on total value to patients and the community at large. Five star (top 20%) hospitals also listed

Healthgrades – Hospital Awards for Patient Safety Excellence, 2017

List of top 10% (460) hospitals, distinguished for their Medicare patient safety, using 2013 to 2015 data. List evaluates hospital patient safety incidents, such as leaving foreign objects behind during surgery, pressure ulcers [bedsores], accidental cuts during medical care; deep blood clots, collapsed lung pneumothorax, postoperative hip fracture, bloodstream infection and postop sepsis. Annual study released 2017 by Healthgrades

HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Awards (selected states)

HealthGrades gave excellence awards to hospitals in 13 states for top quality in Bariatric surgical procedures such as gastric bypass and Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy; 13 states were studied (CO, FL, IA, IL, MD, NY, NV, OR, PA, RI, TX, WA and WI), with seven states having excellent hospitals. Volume, survival rates, complication rates and length of stay were studied using 2011-2013 data. Pub. 2015

HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, 2018

Annual report (Jan. 2018) identifies top-rated distinguished hospitals (top 5%) from evaluating Medicare data from 2014 to 2016; 38 states had hospitals that ranked in the top 5%. Mortality results (survival rates) and complication rates have been factored in for at least 21 procedures and diagnoses such as: heart bypass surgery, pacemaker, defibrillator, heart attack, heart failure, valve replacement, back & neck surgery, carotid surgery, COPD, gall bladder, hip fracture, hip replacement, knee replacement, prostate surgery, TURP, pneumonia, stroke, bowel obstruction, GI bleed, pancreatitis, diabetes hospitalization, pulmonary embolism & sepsis. Hospitals listed by state

HealthGrades Women’s Care Health Awards

HealthGrades lists its 5-star hospitals (Excellence Awards) in women’s care defined as labor & delivery maternity ratings, gynecologic procedures (such as hysterectomy) and Ob-Gyn services. Uses 2013-2015 All-payer from 17 states for the 2017 awards in selected states.

Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care – Certified Hospitals

Find hospitals that have received certification in stroke care (Primary Stroke Centers or two other stroke designations), palliative care, hip and knee, heart failure, inpatient diabetes, perinatal services or ventricular assist devices in the US. Many are listed as having Advanced programs. Other types of certification may be available. Somewhat hard to use. The Joint Commission is the leading accrediting body for hospitals.

Leapfrog Top Hospitals for 2017 (December 2017)

Leapfrog named 109 hospitals to its 2017 Top Hospitals list, including 10 top children’s hospitals and 18 rural hospitals. Hospitals must have responded to Leapfrog’s Hospital Survey. Leapfrog Group is a large employer-based organization whose mission is to trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care. The measures emphasize patient safety

LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Index Ratings of Hospitals and Clinics 2018

Annual Healthcare Equality Index designated 418 U.S. hospitals, clinics and other facilities as Equality Leaders for their policies and practices related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender and queer community. Criteria include patient non-discrimination, hospital visitation, employment policies and training in LGBTQ patient-centered care. Prepared by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2018

Parkinson’s – Center of Excellence Network (PF)

List of about 42 centers of excellence for Parkinson Disease in US and internationally (Australia, Bahamas, Canada, England UK, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan) that meet the criteria set by the Parkinson’s Foundation for research, comprehensive care delivery, professional education and patient outreach services

Premier 2016 QUEST Awards for High-value Healthcare

5 hospital winners were selected for the QUEST® Award for High-value Healthcare. They achieved top performance in all seven of the areas measured: cost and efficiency, inpatient and outpatient evidence-based care, mortality, safety, patient experience and appropriate hospital use.

Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Awards, 2017 – hospital client awards

Press Ganey’s list of Guardian of Excellence Awards in Patient Experience, and Clinical Quality were awarded to client hospitals who performed in the top 5% for the year. List also shows top 5% for Employee Engagement and Physician Engagement

Press Ganey Pinnacle of Excellence Awards – 2017 Client Recognition

The Pinnacle of Excellence Awards from Press Ganey Associates, Inc are given to their top client hospitals who have maintained highest performance in Press Ganey patient satisfaction, or clinical quality, or employee or physician engagement, for at least 3 years in a row America’s Best Hospitals 2017-18: Honor Roll (20)

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) top the list of 20 US hospitals identified (from 4658 nationwide), who rank favorably in multiple specialties. Check the details to see specifics for a certain illness, since one hospital may not be ranked (by US News) as best in everything. Methodology report shows how the hospitals scored. Survival rate (30-day mortality rate) for Medicare patients and Patient Safety are two factors used in the rankings for most of the specialties. Reputation used for Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation and Rheumatology. 2017-2018 ratings use Medicare data from 2013-2015 Best Hospitals 2017: Cancer Rankings

US News & World Report named MD Anderson (Houston, TX) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering (New York) as its 2017 leaders of the top 50 hospitals for cancer care in the US. Scoring includes survival (30-day mortality), professional reputation, designation from the National Cancer Institute and other factors Best Hospitals 2017: Cardiology and heart surgery

Top of the Cardiac specialty list: Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). Top 50 hospitals ranked. See if there is one in your state. Rankings include survival ratings using Medicare data from 2013 to 2015. Hospitals ranked higher if they participated in public transparency reporting by the medical professional societies. Minimum volume of 1382 cases over 3 years, of which 500 needed to be surgical Best Hospitals 2017: Diabetes Rankings

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and Massachusetts General (Boston) lead the US News & World Report list of 50 best hospitals for Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders. Uses Medicare data from 2013 to 2015 (minimum 115 Medicare patients in this specialty) Best Hospitals 2017: Ear, nose, and throat

Uses 3 years of Medicare data (minimum 45 cases), to select the top 50 best hospitals for ENT. Top of the list: Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), and Massachusetts Eye and Ear (Mass Gen), Boston. Strong weight to Reputation scores and volume. Rankings also consider survival rates Best Hospitals 2017: Gastroenterology

Fifty hospitals ranked, using Medicare data 2013-2015, survival rates (30-day mortality scores), volume, reputation and other factors. Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic again lead the 2017 list. GI problems, inpatient Gall bladder cases, & bowel surgery are included in this best hospitals category. Minimum 3-yr volume of 438 inpatient cases, of which 111 needed to be surgical Best Hospitals 2017: Geriatrics Rankings

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) lead the list of top 50 hospitals for geriatric care, from US News & World Report. List shows hospitals that do well at treating seniors (at least 2348 cases over 3 years) combining multiple specialties. Many of the 50 have Alzheimer’s Centers. Medicare survival (30-day mortality data) from 2013-2015 Best Hospitals 2017: Gynecology Rankings

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and Memorial Sloan Kettering (New York) lead the list of 2017-2018 best hospitals for Gynecology from US News & World Report. Gynecology rankings include hysterectomy surgeries, and use data Medicare data from 2013 to 2015. Relative survival rates are included. Minimum 50 Medicare gynecology cases (3-yrs) Best Hospitals 2017: Nephrology (Kidney) rankings

US News and World Report’s list of top 50 hospitals for kidney disease, led by Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, includes kidney transplant, major bladder procedures, renal failure conditions. Minimum volume of 192 patients over 3 years Best Hospitals 2017: Neurology and neurosurgery

US News & World Report’s list of top 50 hospitals for Neuro care and Neurosurgery. Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins lead the 2016 list. Stroke, carotid artery stent, craniotomy and multiple sclerosis included in this category. Minimum number of Medicare cases = 236 over 3 years Best Hospitals 2017: Ophthalmology (Eye)

Twelve hospitals listed for eye surgery, ranked using reputation scores only, no clinical outcomes data were examined (except what individual physicians responding to the survey had investigated on their own). Bascom Palmer in Miami and Wills Eye/Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia top US News & World Report’s 2017-18 list of best hospital Ophthalmology programs Best Hospitals 2017: Orthopedics Rankings

US News & World Report’s list of top 50 hospitals for hip and knee replacements and other orthopedic surgery shows Hospital for Special Surgery (New York) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) as the best hospitals in the US. Uses Medicare data (2013-2015), reputation scores, survival rates, patient safety and more. Minimum number of Medicare cases: 289 over three years Best Hospitals 2017: Psychiatry Rankings

McLean Hospital (Belmont, MA) and Mass General lead the 2017 best psychiatric hospitals list. Reputation scores only were used by US News & World Report to select these 12 hospitals. Listings address short-term acute hospital psychiatric admissions, rather than long-term residential care Best Hospitals 2017: Pulmonology (Respiratory)

Top 50 hospitals for respiratory problems, including Lung transplant, used Medicare data (including survival), reputation and other factors. National Jewish Health Center (Denver) and Mayo Clinic lead the list. For reference: small hospitals routinely treat pneumonia and COPD patients, and a tertiary medical center may not be necessary for effective treatment. This list by US News & World Report gives strong weight to survival, services available, reputation and other factors Best Hospitals 2017: Rehabilitation Rankings

Reputation scores only (from physicians), used to identify these top 12 rehab hospitals in the US – led by Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago-RIC) and TIRR Memorial Hermann (Houston). You may wish to check other factors such as CARF Accreditation (put CARF in the search box at Consumer Health Ratings) and any clinical performance results that may be available, in addition to this reputation list by US News & World Report Best Hospitals 2017: Rheumatology Rankings

Fifteen hospitals identified by using reputation scores only in this US News & World Report list. Top of the list: Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic Best Hospitals 2017: Urology Rankings

Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic lead the Urology list of 50 best hospitals from US News & World Report. List uses Medicare data, reputation and other factors; includes cases of prostatectomy, TURP, kidney stones and other urologic surgery. Minimum 38 cases over 3 years, of which 15 required to be surgical

Watson Health (Truven) 100 Top Hospitals – 2018 National Winners

List names top 100 hospitals in categories according to size and teaching status using Medicare data primarily from 2015 and 2016, other publicly reported patient satisfaction scores and results such as mortality rates, readmissions, ER times and spending at HospitalCompare. While no data are shown for individual hospital performance, Truven makes a case that as a group these hospitals outperform their peers in quality and efficiency (lower expenses). Free report shows winners’ names only; some winners received the Everest Award for also improving at the fastest rate over the long term. Methodology examines survival, complications and readmissions, patient recommendations; efficiency and profitability. Released March 2018

Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals – 2018

Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) 2018 selection of 50 hospitals with significant heart care programs listed in categories: teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residencies, teaching hospitals without such residencies, and community hospitals. List only, organized by state; study primarily used Medicare data from 2015-2016. It examined both clinical outcomes (e.g. survival or mortality, complications, readmissions) and efficiency measures. Released November 2017

Watson Health Top 15 Health Systems (2017)

Watson Health (formerly Truven Health) named 15 Top U.S. Health Systems for clinical quality and efficiency, from their study. Methodology is not described, but in the past has relied on CMS HospitalCompare data, Medicare cost reports, HCAHPS patient satisfaction scores and other data. April 2017 America’s Best Hospitals Methodology 2017-2018 (pdf) Editor's Pick

RTI International report on the methodology used in the 2017-2018 Best Hospitals rankings by US News & World Report. Medicare data were used (2013-2015), and surveys of physicians [3 years are used], hospitals were screened by having advanced services or teaching programs, and having certain number of Medicare cases. See the full criteria and methods used in this study. 137-page report includes the rankings and hospital scores at the end of the document

Other Helpful Listings

Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence – Locate a Center & Bariatric Surgeon

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) has designated hundreds of hospitals and surgeons, as Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence. SRC is a non-profit corporation representing bariatric surgeons. It promotes high standards of care in weight loss surgery. List of centers by state; includes US, UK, Canada, Mexico and 16 other countries

Healthgrades – Hospital Awards for Outstanding Patient Experience, 2017

List of 443 hospitals that achieved the 2017 Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award™, representing the top 15% of hospitals nationally. Data from April 2015-March 2016 patient satisfaction survey responses: Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey

Hospital Compare – 30-day Death Rates, Heart Attack, Heart Failure & CABG (2017) Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals meet expected 30-day survival rates for heart attack and heart failure Medicare cases. National death rates were 13.6% for heart attack, 11.9% for heart failure and 3.2% for CABG (heart bypass) surgery patients. Compare hospitals in your area. The number of hospitals that were significantly worse than the national value were 22 for heart attack, 100 for heart failure and 18 for CABG. Results updated 2017, 2013-2016 data

Hospital Compare – 30-day Death Rates, Pneumonia (2017) Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals met expected 30-day survival rates for Medicare pneumonia patients. The national Risk-Adjusted death rates (mortality rates) were 15.9% for pneumonia. Of US hospitals measured and reported, vast majority were statistically no different than national average; 248 hospitals had worse survival rates. Find pneumonia mortality ratings under Complications and Deaths measures. Results use 2013-2016 data, updated 2017

Hospital Compare – 30-day Death Rates, Stroke (2017) Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals met expected 30-day survival rates for Medicare stroke patients. The national Risk-Adjusted death rates (mortality rates) were 14.6% for stroke. Of US hospitals measured and reported, vast majority were statistically no different than national average; 71 hospitals had worse survival rates. Find stroke mortality ratings under Complications and Deaths measures. Results use 2013-2016 data, updated 2017

Hospital Compare 30-day Death Rates, COPD (2017) Editor's Pick

Federal government site from CMS shows whether hospitals met expected 30-day survival rates for Medicare COPD patients. The national Risk-Adjusted death rate (mortality rate) was 8.0% for COPD. Of US hospitals measured and reported, vast majority were statistically no different than national average; some hospitals had worse survival rates. Find COPD mortality ratings under Complications and Deaths. Results use 2013-2016 data, updated 2017

How Good are Best Hospital Ratings for Cancer Surgery?

Study in Archives of Surgery (May 2011) evaluated whether “best hospitals,” as defined by the US News & World Report or HealthGrades, have lower mortality rates than all other American hospitals for cancer surgery. Used Medicare 2005-2006 data. Abstract only.

How Good are US News & World Best Hospital Rankings? Editor's Pick

Here’s a caveat to using the US News’ Best Hospitals list. Authors looked at 5 specialties: cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology and orthopedics. They concluded that a hospital’s U.S. News score and relative ranking in the Best Hospital Rankings may be disproportionately influenced by its reputation. Article by Cua, Moffatt-Bruce and White, published in the American Journal of Medical Quality Feb. 1, 2017; link to abstract

How Good are US News’ Top 50 Hospitals Rankings? (Annals 2010)

The Annals of Internal Medicine published an analysis of The Role of Reputation in U.S. News & World Report’s Rankings of the Top 50 American Hospitals. April 20, 2010 abstract is free

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