Performance & Quality
Top 20 hospitals in U.S. ranked by magazine
August 7, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of the best hospitals in the United States, including what it considers to be the top 20 medical centres. The “Best Hospitals Honor Roll” takes both the specialty rankings and the procedure and condition ratings into account.
Hospitals received points if they were nationally ranked in one of the 16 specialties – the more specialties and the higher their rank, the more points they got. They also received points if they were rated “high performing” in nine selected procedures and conditions. The top 20 point-scorers made up the Honor Roll.
U.S. News & World Report’s Top 20 Hospitals:
1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York
6. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
8. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
9. NYU Langone Hospitals, New York
10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
11. University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
12. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California
13. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
14. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
15. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh
16. Keck Hospital of USC, Los Angeles
17. University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison
18. (tie) Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
18. (tie) Mayo Clinic-Phoenix
20. (tie) Houston Methodist Hospital
20. (tie) Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut
There are 16 specialty areas. In 12, ranking is determined mostly by data: cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ear, nose & throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology & lung surgery, and urology.
In the remaining four specialties (ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology), ranking is determined entirely by expert opinion, based on responses from three years of surveys of physician specialists.
The rankings name the top 50 hospitals for complex care in each of the 12 data-driven specialties and roughly a dozen in the four expert-opinion-based specialties.
U.S. News estimates that nearly 2 million hospital inpatients a year face the prospect of surgery or special care that poses either unusual technical challenges or significantly heightened risk of death or harm because of age, physical condition or existing conditions. The rankings are a tool that can help such patients find sources of especially skilled inpatient care.
Someone in his 80s or 90s with pancreatic cancer would be one of many examples. Most hospitals would reject him as a patient – as indeed they should if their surgeons lack the expertise to remove the cancer without harming the rest of the fragile pancreas. But multiple investigations by U.S. News have found that some hospitals without the requisite skills would go ahead, possibly at considerable risk. He would be better served by one of the hospitals in the Best Hospitals cancer rankings, many of which see a steady stream of patients like him.
The 16 Best Hospitals national specialty rankings are updated annually. As noted, rankings in 12 of the 16 rely largely on objective data. Each specialty showcases the 50 top-scoring hospitals, based largely on death rates for particularly challenging patients, on patient experience and on other measures of performance that can be assessed using hard data. All evaluated hospitals and their results and overall scores are displayed online, but rankings are only displayed for the top 50.
In these 12 specialties, results from the three most recent years of an annual expert-opinion survey of specialized physicians are also factored in. Surveyed physicians are asked to name up to five hospitals they consider the best for difficult cases in their specialty.
Hospitals that are not nationally ranked but scored high enough in a specialty to put them in the top 10% of the analyzed centers are recognized as high performing. Hospitals that are nationally ranked in at least one of the 12 data-determined specialties, or that earned at least three ratings of high performing across the nine Best Hospitals procedures and conditions, are further designated as Best Regional Hospitals within their state, metro area or other region.
In the four Best Hospitals expert-opinion-based specialties, national ranking is based on the latest three annual physician surveys referenced above. Those receiving nominations from a weighted average of at least 5% of the respondents are nationally ranked Best Hospitals. Those nominated by at least 3% but below 5% of physicians are high performing. Each physician’s response is assigned a weight that ensures the weighted averages are representative of the overall opinion of all specialists nationally, not simply those who responded.