Boston Children's stays on top as CHOP slips to 4th in U.S. News' latest ranking

Boston Children’s Hospital has picked up its ninth consecutive distinction as the country’s top pediatric hospital as determined by a new methodology from U.S. News & World Report taking measures of diversity, equity and inclusion into account.

The Massachusetts organization’s overall win was accompanied by first-place awards across five out of the 10 measured medical specialties: pediatric cancer, pediatric nephrology, pediatric neurology and neurosurgery, pediatric orthopedics and pediatric urology, according to the 2022-2023 rankings published Tuesday.

Across the other categories, BCH was second in cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology and neonatology. It was third in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery and pulmonology and lung surgery.

"These last few years have been extremely challenging, not just for hospitals, but for everyone,” BCH president and CEO Kevin Churchwell, M.D., said in a statement responding to U.S. News’ list. “This ranking is a testament to the extraordinary work and resolve of our entire Boston Children’s family and a tribute to their dedication to the patients, families and communities we are privileged to serve."

But while BCH was rock steady in its top slot, this year saw some upheaval among the runner-ups.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which had spent the past three years in the No. 2 slot, was surpassed by both Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The two organizations had respectively been ranked as the third and fourth best children’s hospitals in last year’s ranking.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia also saw last year’s tally of three first-place subspecialties whittled down to one (diabetes and gastroenterology) in this year’s rankings.

Texas Children’s Hospital claimed two top specialty spots (cardiology and heart surgery and pulmonology and lung surgery) while Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center picked up a single first-place specialty ranking (gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery).

The top spot for neonatology, the last remaining specialty, was awarded to Children’s National Hospital in the District of Columbia.

The full list of children’s hospitals named to the 2022-2023 Honor Roll is:

  1. Boston Children’s Hospital
  2. Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston
  3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  4. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  5. Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C.
  6. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  7. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora
  8. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  9. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  10. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto, California

“The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings spotlight hospitals that excel in specialized care, offering parents and their pediatricians a helpful starting point in choosing the facility that’s best for their child,” Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News, said in a statement. “Recognizing that hospitals with inclusive and equitable cultures perform better, this year we added a new measure assessing hospitals’ efforts to improve the equity of care provided and to promote diversity and inclusion among clinicians and staff.”

Built by U.S. News and research firm RTI International, the annual ranking includes operational and outcome data from 198 children’s hospital facilities as well as opinion surveys with approximately 24,000 physicians.

Of note, this year’s new “commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion” measure represented 2% of a hospital’s total weighted ranking. Outcomes are a third of a hospital’s score, and expert opinions are 13% for each specialty except cardiology and heart surgery.

U.S. News & World Report said it is looking to expand future rankings with more survey questions focused on pediatric and adolescent behavioral health, among other potential changes.