15 Aug, 2018

Mayo Clinic Ranks #1

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Earlier this week, Mayo Clinic was ranked #1 for best hospital in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. This is their third year in a row in this spot. Following Mayo included Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, in that order. Each hospital kept their ranking order from last year.

“For nearly three decades, US News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide.” Ben Harder

This year’s rankings worked a bit differently than past years. The metrics were more focused on patient outcomes and also included Medicare claims with ICD-10 codes. Last fall, it included ICD-9 codes. The rankings put more focus on patient outcomes over hospital characteristics.

Another factor that goes into rankings is the hospital’s speciality. This year included 158 hospitals with at least one speciality. There were only 29 hospitals that received a high ranking in all nine procedures and conditions. Last year,. there 48 of these. For example, Jefferson Health-Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philly ranked #1 in the cancer/cardiology and heart surgery categories. Yale New Haven Hospital ranked #1 in the diabetes and endocrinology categories. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center ranked #1 for orthopedics.

Unhappy Patients and Providers

These rankings become important to patients, though there have been some pushback on the third-party organizations that rank these hospitals. Patients are feeling like these lists could be misleading and even make unfair comparisons. It’s not so fair for teaching hospitals/centers with large quantities of poorer patients to be ranked lower on the scale. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has even delayed their ratings due to the longer response time needed for provider concerns. Not only have patients been feeling unsettled about these rankings, but providers too are not so happy. Select hospitals feel the system uses incorrect information to determine the grade. One provider even sued after their safety rating went from an A to a C.

We congratulate Mayo Clinic for their #1 rank this year and will continue to keep an eye on the U.S News & World Report best hospital list.

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