Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic take top spots on U.S. News' 2021-22 Best Hospitals ranking

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This year's list also included new racial disparity metrics that gauge whether a hospital's patient population reflects the demographics of its surrounding community. Although users may view these on an individual facility level, the racial disparity ratings weren't considered for a hospital's overall placement. (Mayo Clinic)

The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic have again secured the top and runner-up spots of the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the country’s best hospitals.

Now in its 32nd year, the rankings evaluated more than 4,750 hospitals across 15 medical specialties or overall. It also includes regional rankings that break down the hospitals by state, geographic or metro areas.

The list is intended to help patients and their doctors determine the best options for their specialty care or for specific procedures, according to Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis for U.S. News & World Report, in the announcement.

The remainder of the publication’s top 20 “Honor Roll” consisted of several familiar names, albeit shuffled up and down the ranking. UCLA Medical Center, for instance, pushed its way up to the third slot this year, followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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In addition to its sixth consecutive placement at the top of the Honor Roll, Mayo Clinic was also named as the top hospital for five of the 15 medical specialties: diabetes/endocrinology, gastroenterology/GI surgery, gynecology, pulmonology/lung surgery and urology.

The only other institution named as a top hospital in multiple specialties was Johns Hopkins Hospital, which led the way in psychiatry and rheumatology.

This year’s rankings were updated with seven new specific procedures and conditions that users may search for, including stroke, pneumonia and kidney failure.

It also included a new addition to each hospital’s profile page focused on racial disparities in care, based on federal data and other professional society sources.

Here, each facility receives a rating on how well its patient population represents the racial demographics of its surrounding community and, for Black residents specifically, how well its preventive care reduces potentially avoidable hospitalizations. These ratings did not contribute to each hospital’s placement on the best hospitals rankings.

“At roughly four out of five hospitals, we found that the community’s minority residents were underrepresented among patients receiving services such as joint replacement, cancer surgery and common heart procedures,” Harder said. “Against this backdrop, however, we found important exceptions—hospitals that provide care to a disproportionate share of their community’s minority residents. These metrics are just a beginning; we aim to expand on our measurement of health equity in the future.”

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U.S. News and partner research firm RTI International construct the annual list of best hospitals using a combination of objective measures including risk-adjusted survival, nurse staffing and hospital volume as well as a physician survey. Of note, certain data used in the rankings come from years predating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's the full list of hospitals named to the 2021-22 Best Hospitals Honor Roll:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  2. Cleveland Clinic
  3. UCLA Medical Center
  4. Johns Hopkins Hospital
  5. Massachusetts General Hospital
  6. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  7. New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell
  8. NYU Langone Hospitals
  9. UCSF Medical Center
  10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  11. University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine
  12. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital
  13. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian
  14. Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  15. Mayo Clinic-Phoenix
  16. Houston Methodist Hospital
  17. Barnes-Jewish Hospital (tie)
  18. Mount Sinai Hospital (tie)
  19. Rush University Medical Center
  20. Vanderbilt University Medical Center