When Health Grades announced its 50 Best Hospitals Report a few months back, it marked the beginning of that silly season of health care ratings.
Step right up ladies and gentlemen. I present you the best of the best from: U.S. News & World Report, CMS, The Joint Commission and yes, even Angie's List. What did you say Mr. and Mrs. Consumer? You don't understand these ratings? Every list ranks hospitals differently, you say? You're confused? I get it!
Doctors are confused too.
Researcher Ashwini R. Sehgal, MD, regarding the U.S. News ranking, concluded that "the relative standings of the top 50 hospitals largely reflect the subjective reputations of those hospitals. Moreover, little relationship exists between subjective reputation and objective measures of hospital quality among the top 50 hospitals."