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U.S. News Media Group Announces 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals
Date:7/16/2009

WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. News Media Group, the nation's leading source of rankings and service journalism, today announced the 2009-10 publication of America's Best Hospitals, accessible today online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and on sale at newsstands Tuesday, July 21.

Now in its 20th year, the multi-platform 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals guide is the most extensive hospital ranking to-date. It includes rankings of 174 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties -- with full data available online for another 1,500 unranked hospitals. In addition, the Best Hospitals "Honor Roll" highlights 21 medical centers that were ranked at or near the top in at least six specialties.

The 16 ranked specialties are cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.

"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."

The 2009-10 Best Hospitals guide also includes a web video series on USNews.com where visitors can watch HealthiNation Chief Medical Editor Dr. Holly Atkinson interview Comarow and Dr. Bernadine Healy, U.S. News health editor, to capture their expertise and insight into the Best Hospitals ranking process. The videos take viewers behind the scenes of the rigorous selection process, include profiles of top winners across categories, and reveal what it takes for a hospital to be named one of "America's Best."

"Over the past two decades, America's Best Hospitals has proven to be an essential resource for consumers facing difficult healthcare decisions," said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News & World Report. "With this year's Best Hospitals video series, we're not only bringing this topic to life, but also highlighting examples of hospital excellence and quality care."

Of the medical centers ranked in the 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals, 21 earned Honor Roll status, demonstrating excellence and breadth of expertise by ranking at or near the top in at least six specialties. The top hospitals in the 2009-10 Honor Roll* are:

1. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)

2. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)

3. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)

4. Cleveland Clinic

5. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)

6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center

8. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

9. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University (St. Louis)

10. Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)

10. Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC)

*For the full "Honor Roll" list, visit www.usnews.com/besthospitals.

In addition to the hospitals that appear in one or more specialty rankings in the print magazine, the 2009-10 America's Best Hospitals package includes an online consumer guide where readers can find information on more than 1,500 hospitals that qualified for rankings, but did not score high enough to be ranked (fewer than one-third of the 4,861 U.S. hospitals evaluated did qualify).

Methodology

The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties -- all but ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology -- are predominantly driven by hard data. There are four components: reputation, death rate, patient safety (new this year), and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. In these 12 specialties, hospitals have to pass through several gates to be ranked and considered a Best Hospital:

1. The first gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked at all by requiring that it must meet any of three conditions: be a teaching hospital; have at least 200 beds; or have at least 100 beds plus at least four out of eight key medical technologies such as current-generation CT scanners and precision radiation therapy.

2. The second gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked in a particular specialty. To be eligible, the hospital had to either have at least a specified volume of certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated by at least one physician in the last three years of our annual specialist survey.

3. The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, patient safety, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.

In the four other specialties -- ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology -- ranking is based solely on nominations from the three most recent physician surveys.

About the U.S. News Media Group

The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its News You Can Use(R) brand of journalism and its "America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.


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SOURCE U.S. News Media Group
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