US News updates hospital ranking methodology: 5 things to know

U.S. News & World Report published a list of updates to the methodology behind its annual best hospital rankings. 

The updates are based on input from patients, clinicians, researchers and hospital leaders. Administrators at more than 4,000 hospitals will receive embargoed data on the 2020-21 best hospitals rankings July 9, with the go-live set for July 28.

Here are five methodology changes to know:

1. U.S. News will use a new rating that measures the quality of a hospital's transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, programs. The rating will be factored into the calculation of the publication's best regional hospitals and honor roll rankings. The rankings will also have a new risk-adjusted outcome measure of stroke within 30 days of a TAVR procedure. 

2. For the first time, U.S. News will include outpatient Medicare claims in its analysis when calculating hospitals' volumes for its knee replacement rating.

3. To improve volume estimations, U.S. News switched to a hospital-level Medicare Advantage adjustment factor from the county-level adjustment factor it used before. The change led to lower volume estimates for many hospitals across specialties, with some cohorts seeing as much as a 15 percent drop in mean volume.

4. U.S. News also updated its home outcome measure. Patients who were discharged to a home setting with a planned readmission or who received nonsurgical care in any specialty or heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and who were then discharged to a home hospice were considered discharged to home.

5. Data presented in the 2020-21 ranking were from a period that came before COVID-19, so the data was not affected by the pandemic.

Read more here.

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