U.S. News has outlined what’s new in This Year’s Best Hospitals Methodology. The 2022-2023 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings will by published on July 26, and reflect several methodology improvements, including new cancer ratings, a new patient-centered outcome measure and more health equity measures.
Methodology changes implemented in this year’s edition of Best Hospitals will include:
- COVID-19’s impact on care delivery. Outcome and volume measures this year included data from the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Three new ratings: Ovarian Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery, and Uterine Cancer Surgery, with similar methodology as is used to generate the 17 other Procedures & Conditions ratings.
- Home time measure in certain Procedures & Conditions ratings.
- Outpatient and skilled nursing facility encounters. Expanded from encounters occurring in non-inpatient settings. Data from outpatient and skilled nursing facility encounters were used to define home time. And SNF data were also used in determining which patients were discharged to home.
- Obstetrics & Gynecology ranking, previously labeled Gynecology, has a new measure of hospitals’ public transparency. Hospitals received credit for the new measure if they or a nearby affiliated maternity hospital submitted data via U.S. News’ 2022 Maternity Services Survey.
- Transparency. A separate measure of public transparency has been incorporated into the TAVR ratings. To receive credit, a hospital had to have voluntarily opted to publicly report via the STS/ACC TVT registry, which is maintained by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology. This registry began public reporting in 2022.
- Low-value care in the Knee Replacement and Stroke ratings. In each of those cohorts, a hospital that performed poorly on the relevant low-value measure could not receive a high performing rating. The measures were calculated for U.S. News by the Lown Institute.
- Definitional refinements to key cohorts, with exclusion criteria added to make certain patient cohorts more clinically meaningful or homogeneous.
- Expert opinion scores, determined differently than in the past: Physician survey conducted exclusively online, using the Doximity platform to reach doctors who are users of that network, which includes more than 80% of doctors nationwide. Nominations were handled differently if it came from a physician who had a current affiliation with the hospital they nominated, as compared to a nomination coming from a physician who was currently unaffiliated with the nominated hospital.
- Equity – measures of health equity are a growing component of the U.S. News hospital quality reporting program. Starting July 26, hospitals’ profiles on usnews.com will feature measures of racial disparities in unplanned readmission, a measure of how much charity care each hospital provides, and a measure of how well low-income patients are represented among the patients each hospital serves.