US News 'Best Hospitals' rankings to begin incorporating HCAHPS data

U.S. News & World Report will begin incorporating patient experience data, like a hospital's HCAHPS scores, into its "Best Hospitals" specialty rankings.

Officials said the change was instituted after obtaining feedback from patients, hospital leaders and other industry stakeholders. Patient experience data will receive a 5 percent weight in each of the 12 data-driven "Best Hospital" specialty rankings.

Patient experience scores will reflect each hospital's performance on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey. U.S. News said it chose to use HCAHPS scores rather than the star rating because continuous measures provide more information than categorical measures. The 2019-20 Best Hospitals list will use data from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.

The publication also noted it would retire the use of patient safety indicators and remove patient safety scores from its methodology in the 2019-20 list.

"While the construct of patient safety remains important, we have concluded that these specific measures are not ideal for comparing hospital performance. As a result, PSIs will no longer be a part of U.S. News public reporting," the publication said in a news release.

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