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Future Changes to U.S. News Best Hospital Ranking Methodology

U.S. News evaluations of general acute-care hospitals encompass 16 specialty rankings, 9 procedure/condition-specific ratings, regional rankings and a national honor roll. Healthcare Dive, reporting from the magazine’s annual Healthcare of Tomorrow conference in Washington D.C. , writes of changes under consideration for 2019, including using patient-experience data and patient-reported outcomes, risk adjusting for sociodemographic factors, addressing latency and completeness of Medicare inpatient claims data, measuring the performance of health systems, and considering variation in the quality of post-acute care.

U.S News will no longer factor patient safety indicators (PSIs) into its specialty rankings of the nation’s best hospitals. Instead, it will substitute in HCAHPS, (hospital consumer assessment of healthcare providers and systems), which measures a patient’s satisfaction through a survey.

Other changes under consideration, but likely won’t be included in 2019’s ratings: the inclusion of an outcome measure – how likely it is a discharged patient will be sent to an institutional setting, like a skilled nursing facility, instead of going home. Also in consideration is the likelihood of a prolonged stay at a facility, both likely measures of quality. And possible inclusion of reporting on maternity care.

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