Mayo Clinic tops U.S. News' best hospitals list

hospital doctor with patient
U.S. News & World Report released its annual hospital rankings. (monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images)

Fifty-seven hospitals across the country received high-performance rankings in nine specialty procedures and conditions, according to a new report.

U.S. News & World Report released its 30th annual best hospital rankings. In the latest report, 165 hospitals out of more than 4,500 were nationally ranked in one specialty, while 569 were ranked among the best regional hospitals in a state or metro area based on delivering common care.

At least 1,447 hospitals received a high-performance rating in at least one of the procedures or conditions.

“Though not surprising, we found that hospitals that specialize in taking care of the sickest and most challenging patients in a particular specialty tended to get some of the best outcomes and consequently ranked highly in that specialty or specialties,” U.S. News Managing Editor and Chief of Health Analysis Ben Harder told FierceHealthcare. “That was true both for dedicated specialty hospitals, including cancer hospitals and orthopedic hospitals, and some other hospitals that experts have long recognized as leaders in cardiac care or other complex specialty care.”

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The Mayo Clinic took the top spot on the Honor Roll—given to hospitals in the top 20 for delivering exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care—followed by Massachusetts General Hospital and then Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Cleveland Clinic took the fourth spot, followed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Columbia and Cornell, New York.

Other hospitals in the top 10 included three facilities in California: (6) the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, (7) the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco and (8) Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Finally, NYU Langone Hospitals in New York came in at No. 9 and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago ranked No. 10.

The latest version uses an updated methodology to rank patient outcomes, patient experience and enhanced risk adjustment in order to better assist doctors and patients in making informed decisions. 

This year, U.S. News’ report included 12 data-driven specialty rankings across a number of specialities, including: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.

Under each specialty, the report includes two new patient-centered measures that include an experience score and an outcome measure, which examines how often patients go directly home from the hospital rather than transitioning to a nursing home or other institutional care. In addition, the risk-adjustment model now accounts for differences in patient populations so that hospitals that care for sicker patients are not penalized.

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Finally, there is a cooperation of outcome measurement with the U.S. News procedures and conditions ranking within specialty ranks.

In the specialty categories, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ranked No. 1 in cancer treatment, while the Cleveland Clinic ranked No. 1 in cardiology and heart surgery and the Hospital for Special Surgery was named No. 1 for orthopedics. The Mayo Clinic was the only hospital to rank in the top five for cardiology and heart surgery, cancer and orthopedics.

“When choosing a hospital, it’s important to consider not only how good that hospital is in general, but how strong its performance is in the particular type of care that you need,” Harder said. "That’s why we publish ratings and rankings in 25 different areas of adult care and 10 areas of pediatric care, along with reams of data points about each hospital’s performance in each area of care. A best hospital for one patient may not be the best hospital for another, if their diagnoses and medical needs are different.”

In the report, outcome measures account for 37.5% of a hospital’s overall score. Another 32.5% of a hospital’s score derives from process measures and 30% accounts for key structural resources, such as staffing, patient services and clinical services.