Hospital Rankings May Not Be Last Word

Hospital rankings are more marketing tool than useful quality metrics, according to an article in the Sunday New York Times.

 Healthcare reporter Elizabeth Rosenthal published an article examining the function of hospital rankings in the wake of the release of U.S. News and World Report's annual release of its hospital rankings.

The rankings vary considerably among major lists, according to the report. This, in addition to the question of whether or not the supposed difference in care is actually worth travel costs for patients to be treated at what is listed as the best hospital in any given specialty, brings into question the functional usefulness and accuracy of the published rankings.

Hospitals with more than 400 beds spent $2.18 million on average on advertising costs in 2010.

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