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Georgia's Best Hospitals: U.S. News Rankings For 2019

New rankings from U.S. News & World Report identify the best hospitals in specialty care and the best hospitals in Georgia.
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GEORGIA — U.S. News & World Report has released its latest list of the nation's top hospitals. In Georgia, no hospitals made the honor roll, and 16 were on the state's best hospitals list.

The publication ranked the best hospitals overall, by specialty, state and region for 2019–2020.

"We use a number of different measures to assess hospital quality, and we separately assess each hospital in many different specialties and services that hospitals offer," Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News, told Patch. The 2019 rankings added two new patient-centered measures: patient outcome and patient experience.

"Obviously that’s important for patients too because they not only want to get good care and have a good outcome but also feel that what mattered to them was considered and taken into account in the care they got," Harder said.

Honor Roll Hospitals

Hospitals that make the U.S. News & World Report honor roll deliver exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care, according to analysts.

"The honor roll is geared to identifying hospitals that are both exceptionally good at the service they offer and offer a wide breadth of service," Harder said. By definition, he said that means those hospitals are highly ranked across many or most specialties.

These hospitals made the honor roll:

  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (1)
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (2)
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore (3)
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (4)
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York (5)
  • UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles (6)
  • UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco (7)
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles (8)
  • NYU Langone Hospitals, New York (9)
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago (10)
  • University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor (11)
  • Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, California (12)
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (13)
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, New York (14)
  • UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh (15)
  • Keck Hospital of USC, Los Angeles (16)
  • University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison, Wisconsin (17)
  • Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia (tie) (18)
  • Mayo Clinic-Phoenix, Phoenix (tie) (18)
  • Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston (tie) (20)
  • Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut (tie) (20)

Regional And Specialty Hospital Rankings

"The vast majority of patients don’t need a top-ranked hospital for complex specialty care and their needs may be very well met by a best regional hospital that can offer a breadth of services relevant to their care," Harder said.

In Georgia, 16 met the standards for best hospitals, and two were nationally ranked in specialties.

Hospitals that rank highly in specialty care are often regional or national referral centers, somewhere a patient may go to get a second opinion, even traveling across several states.

The rankings for regional hospitals don’t require that these centers are strong in referral care because many patients don’t need that level of care. The local rankings are geared towards identifying hospitals that are good at a range of services.

"Most patients can find the care they need in their community or near their community, in their insurance network," Harder said.

Here are the top 10 best hospitals in Georgia, according to U.S. News:

See the full list of best hospitals in Georgia from U.S. News & World Report, which also had regional "best hospitals" lists for the Atlanta and Augusta metro areas as well as the best children's hospitals in Georgia.

Hospitals were also ranked across 12 specialties: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.

Patient-Centered Measures

Two patient-centered measures were part of the rankings this year for the U.S. News Best Hospitals list. Data from a federally mandated survey was used to assess this measure, according to U.S. News. The survey covers topics like how good doctors and nurses were at communicating with patients and how well a patient understood how to take care of themselves after leaving the hospital.

Analysts looked at whether patients went home or needed more care at a rehab facility or a different hospital after leaving.

"That’s an important outcome for patients," Harder said. "Patients do want to be home recovering and spending time with their families."

To ensure the rankings do not penalize those that admit sicker patients, the methodology adjusts for how sick a patient was when admitted.

Methodology

U.S. News & World Report said the 2019-20 rankings evaluated nearly every community hospital in America.

Only 165 hospitals out of more than 4,500 were ranked in one specialty, while 569 hospitals were ranked among the best regional hospitals.

A hospital was ranked regionally based on its performance in delivering complex and common care, U.S. News says. The rankings are jointly produced by U.S. News and RTI International, a North Carolina-based research organization.

Read the full U.S. News best hospitals methodology.

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