10 top hospitals for avoiding unnecessary services: Lown Institute

A new ranking from the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, lists which hospitals in the U.S. are the best for avoiding overuse of low-value tests and procedures.

The May 4 ranking comes after the Lown Institute worked with Washington Monthly to publish a list of the nation's best hospitals in July 2020. The list considered civic leadership and care value, and like the results from the Lown Institute's ranking of best hospitals to avoid overuse of low-value services, didn't feature prominent hospitals many associate with topping influential lists, such as the U.S. News & World Report. The Lown Institute is releasing a list of best hospitals for racial and economic inclusivity later this month.

For the 2021 Lown Institute Hospital Index, the Institute analyzed service use measures at more than 3,100 hospitals. Data in the ranking came from the Medicare claims database and spanned January 2016 to December 2018. Twelve low-value tests and services, such as coronary artery stenting and head imaging for fainting, were measured.

Hospitals included in the list had to have the capacity to do four or more of the services used in the ranking. Overuse was scored based on the rate of overuse and volume of overuse. To view the full methodology, click here. Corresponding research with the rankings was published in JAMA Network Open April 27.

Here are the Lown Institute's top 10 hospitals for avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures: 

1. Scott County Hospital (Scott City, Kan.)

2. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)

3. West River Regional Medical Center (Hettinger, N.D.)

4. Highland Hospital (Rochester, N.Y.)

5. Mayo Clinic Health System-Lake City (Minn.)

6. Maine Medical Center (Portland)

7. Sidney (Neb.) Regional Medical Center 

8. Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (Lebanon, N.H.)

9. Healdsburg (Calif.) District Hospital 

10. Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (Martinez, Calif.)

View the full list here.

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