US News revises methodology for Best Hospitals specialty rankings

U.S. News & World Report revised the methodology for its 2019-20 Best Hospitals specialty rankings set to come out July 30.

Four things to know:

1. U.S. News updated the methodology for its 12 data-driven Best Hospitals specialties to incorporate more patient-centered measures, better account for differences in patient populations and address constructive feedback from healthcare professionals.

2. The methodology now includes a patient experience measure that examines hospitals' HCAHPS performance. It also includes a new risk-adjusted outcomes measure, which looks at the likelihood of a patient being discharged home, rather than to a nursing home or other facility.

3. As some hospitals treat sicker patient populations, data analysts created a risk-adjustment model that accounts for patients' age, sex, Medicaid status and comorbidities, among other factors.

4. U.S. News' calculations of outcomes measures now account for the statistical certainty that a hospital's performance is not due to chance.

"For example, a hospital with zero deaths in 500 cases and a hospital with zero deaths in just 50 cases would have equivalent performance on the 30-day survival metric we used in previous years' rankings, whereas the former hospital would receive a better score on our new metric — reflecting the higher statistical likelihood that its flawless mortality rate is not due to chance," U.S. News said.

To view a full breakdown of the changes, click here.

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