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US News Announces Changes to Pediatric Rankings

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The 2019-20 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings will be published on June 18 on 125 hospitals submitted data via this year’s Pediatric Hospital Survey. This year’s release will include a number of methodology changes:

  • Dropped certain data elements that, while clinically important, were particularly challenging for hospitals to collect in a standardized manner. In pediatric urology, for example, a measure of complications following surgical intervention for proximal hypospadias was removed from the survey because hospitals faced difficulty in tracking and consistently reporting these adverse outcomes.
  • In pediatric cardiology & heart surgery, scoring of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)-calculated Adjusted Mortality Rate (AMR) was revised. This year, each hospital was assigned a score of 1 to 5 points based on (a) its AMR, (b) the upper and lower bounds of the AMR’s confidence interval, and (c) its volume of pediatric cardiac surgeries over four years. This approach improved harmonization between scoring by U.S. News and by STS, because hospitals that were statistically better than expected (3 stars in STS’ system) were assigned to the highest-scoring U.S. News tier for the AMR measure, and hospitals that were statistically not worse than expected in STS’ system were not assigned to the lowest-scoring U.S. News tier. The weighting of the AMR-derived measure, and thus its contribution to a hospital’s overall U.S. News ranking, was not changed this year.
  • The weight assigned to certain measures of bloodstream infections and pressure injuries were standardized across several specialties, which involved reducing the weight of those measures in certain specialties.

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