U.S. News & World Report released the 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings. The 31st edition includes special recognition of the herculean efforts being mounted by the nation’s health professionals who have stepped up during COVID-19, often at great personal risk. The U.S. News Hospital Heroes series is a cornerstone of this year’s rankings package, profiling more than 65 health care heroes from across the country, along with commentary from top executives at hospitals who faced the pandemic head on.
“The pandemic has altered, perhaps permanently, how patients get care and from whom they get it. Amid the disruption, we are steadfastly committed to providing the public with authoritative data for comparing hospital quality,” Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News, said in a company news release. “No hospital’s clinical team came through this unprecedented health crisis unscathed. Our Hospital Heroes series is a tribute to recognizing individuals at urban and rural hospitals in communities across the country who have gone above and beyond during this unparalleled time in history.”
The coronavirus crisis also has unmasked the deadly effects of health disparities by race, ethnicity and other social determinants. The U.S. News Hospital Heroes series highlights a community health equity leader, a doctor in hard-hit Navajo Nation and a public health leader who have spoken out about structural forces that drive racial and ethnic health inequities. While health inequities have existed in the U.S. health care system since its inception, efforts to quantify these gaps in a comparable way across individual hospitals have been scarce. U.S. News recently announced it will use more than three decades of experience in hospital quality measurement to contribute to the much needed dialogue on disparities in hospital care. In a new analysis published today, U.S. News examined seven years of Medicare records that reveal broad and enduring racial disparities in surgical care access and quality of that care.
Alongside these firsthand accounts, the 2020-21 Best Hospitals editorial package features commentaries from hospital leaders addressing ways hospitals and health systems are navigating the path forward along with reporting on topics from the rise in telemedicine to provider burnout and mental health strain stemming from the pandemic.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: It Takes a Community to Fight a Pandemic
- Mayo Clinic CEO: Health Care Mustn’t Go Back to Business as Usual After the Pandemic
- Montefiore CEO: COVID-19 Has Exposed Dire Health Care Inequities
- Telemedicine Explodes to the Forefront Amid COVID-19
- How the Pandemic Is Changing the Way Hospitals Care for Patients – ‘COVID-19 Ripped the Band-Aid Off‘
As America’s health care system copes with the lasting impacts of the global pandemic, the commentaries and features highlighting those hard at work serving their patients and communities supplement this year’s updated rankings. U.S. News remains committed to providing data-driven information and guidance to help patients, their families, and their physicians navigate their health care options. Spanning 26 adult specialties, procedures and conditions, the 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings evaluated nearly every community hospital in America.
U.S. News updated rankings for 16 medical specialties, which cover Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Psychiatry, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, Rheumatology and Urology. This year, 134 hospitals out of more than 4,500 were nationally ranked in one specialty, while 563 were ranked among the Best Regional Hospitals in a state or metro area.
For 2020-21, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN claimed the No. 1 spot on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. Cleveland Clinic ranked No. 2, followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital at No. 3. The Honor Roll is a distinction awarded to hospitals ranked in the top 20 nationally for delivering exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care.
In the specialty rankings, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ranked No. 1 in Cancer, the Cleveland Clinic is No. 1 in Cardiology & Heart Surgery and Hospital for Special Surgery is No. 1 in Orthopedics.
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
- Cleveland Clinic
- Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York (tie)
- UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles (tie)
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
- UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
- NYU Langone Hospitals, New York, N.Y.
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
- University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
- Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California
- Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
- Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
- Mayo Clinic-Phoenix
- Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
- Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis (tie)
- Keck Medical Center of USC, Los Angeles (tie)
- Houston Methodist Hospital
The rankings are produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The data used in the 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings come from a period predating the COVID-19 pandemic and were not affected by the pandemic’s impact on hospitals. The U.S. News Best Hospitals methodologies are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and discharge-to-home rates, volume, and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.
Debuting this year, U.S. News released a new cardiac rating that measures the quality of hospitals’ transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) programs. Developed in recent years, TAVR is rapidly being adopted as a minimally invasive alternative to aortic valve surgery. For more information on the methodology please refer to the FAQ.
The rankings will be published in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2021” guidebook (ISBN 9781931469951), available for pre-order now from the U.S. News Online Store and for purchase at other bookstores October 6.
For the full rankings, visit Best Hospitals and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.