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Research Finds High Variability Among Hospital Ranking Systems For Orthopaedic Care

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Hospital ratings specific to orthopaedic surgery can be misleading due to a lack of stated methodology, according to research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) this month. The new study investigated five hospital rating systems to assess consistency and agreement among the hospitals deemed “high-performing” and “low-performing” for orthopaedic surgery.  The five hospital rating systems which designate “high-performing” and “low-performing” hospitals for orthopaedic surgery examined included US News, HealthGrades, CareChex, Women’s Choice, and Hospital Compare. It revealed that the systems generally rate hospitals based on varied data sources and different methodologies that lack robust formal validation.

The review article notes that further research is needed regarding rating systems that assess not only orthopaedic surgery programs, but hospitals and providers, as well. There are many aspects of healthcare that are not addressed by these rating systems, and patients should use ratings as a jumping-off point in evaluating orthopaedic specialty care.

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