In an emergency the best hospital is the one that's closest. But what about when you need (for yourself or a loved one) hospital care for a complex diagnosis or rare condition? How about when you need an elective surgery, like a knee replacement or a hysterectomy? Here are two resources for starting your search for the best healthcare for you.
U.S. News & World Report released their annual hospital rankings Tuesday, revealing the top 15 medical centers in the country. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston tops the list, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in second, and Johns Hopkins Hospital of Baltimore and UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles sharing the third place position.
U.S. News measured the hospitals by analyzing the number of patients each hospital cares for, the "risk-adjusted survival rates" of those patients, how adequate their nurses staffing is, as well as a large survey of the physicians working at these hospitals, among other things.
“Patients deserve high-quality information on hospitals,” Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News, said in a press release e-mailed to Health. “We strive to provide them with the most comprehensive data available so they can make more informed decisions together with their doctor about where to undergo treatment.”
Along with their 2015-2016 Honor Roll list, the publication also singled out the best hospitals based on 16 specialties, such as cancer care (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, took the top spot), orthopedics (Hospital for Special Surgery, in New York City), cardiology and heart surgery (Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio), and more. In addition, they highlighted 520 of the best regional hospitals based on their complex and common care, separated by state and metro area, so patients can get a sense of how their local hospitals are doing.
The 2015-16 Honor Roll
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
(tie) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
(tie) UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
NYU Langone Medical Center, New York
UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina
Stanford Health-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California
Looking for a surgeon?
The annual rankings from U.S. News follow a major ProPublica analysis of 17,000 surgeons from across the country, released last week. The ProPublica app allows users to search for a particular surgeon or hospital to see how they stack up in terms of experience and complication rates when it comes to elective surgeries. The publication based their analysis on Medicare billing data for in-patient hospital stays from 2009 through 2013.