US News has announced changes for the 2023-2024 Best Hospitals and Best Children’s Hospitals rankings slated to be published this summer. The changes include the assigning of more weight to clinical outcomes and other objective measures of quality and less weight to U.S. News & World Report’s opinion survey of physicians. This shift reflects their ongoing effort to use more objective data in our hospital ranking methodologies.
Outcome measures derived from federal data will account for 45% of the methodology in 11 adult specialty rankings, up from 37.5% last year, and 30% in Rehabilitation, up from 20% last year. Structural indicators of quality, such as the availability of key patient services, will account for 35% in all 12 adult specialties.
In four adult specialty rankings – Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Obstetrics & Gynecology; and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery – the weight assigned to expert opinion will be reduced to 12% from its current level of about 25%. It will be reduced to 15% from 27.5% in seven other specialties: Cancer; Diabetes & Endocrinology; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Orthopedics; and Urology. In Rehabilitation, expert opinion will be reduced to 30% from its current level of 50%. Until 2021, the Rehabilitation rankings were determined entirely by physician survey.
In the pediatric specialty rankings, measures of best practices (to a weight of 12% from 9.17%) and diversity, equity and inclusion (to 2.33% from 2.0%) will receive greater weight this year than last year. The weight of expert opinion will decrease to 5% from 8% in Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery and to 10% from 13% in all other pediatric specialties. See table for details.
Expert opinion has never been a factor in Best Hospitals for Maternity Care nor in the 20 Procedures & Conditions ratings U.S. News publishes. As a result, no change is needed with these ratings.