The best hospitals for 2024 in the US have been revealed in a new report.
Healthgrades, the leading site for Americans to choose doctors and hospitals, ranked the top 250 best-performing hospitals based on patient data between 2020 and 2022.
According to the analysis, if all hospitals in the US performed at the same level as the top 250, 178,402 lives could have potentially been saved.
Patients that are seen at a hospital in the top 250 list have a 30 percent lower risk of dying, Dr Brad Bowman, chief medical officer and head of data science at Healthgrades, told DailyMail.com.
The list shows that just five states make up half of the top 250 hospitals in the country: California has the most with 32 hospitals, Texas has 28, Florida 26, Pennsylvania 22, and Ohio 19. New York has nine of the best 250 hospitals.
Thirteen states don’t have any hospitals on the list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming.
Just five states make up half of the top 250 hospitals in the country: California has the most with 32 hospitals, Texas has 28, Florida 26, Pennsylvania 22, and Ohio 19
AdventHealth Orlando in Florida (pictured) has been in the top 250 for seven years in a row, and received the most Healthgrades awards in the US for 2024
Healthgrades analyzed more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. As of 2021, there were more than 6,000 hospitals in the US.
The company did not give a league table ranking the best hospitals nor a breakdown of the worst hospitals in the country.
However, notable hospitals included Lancaster General in Pennsylvania, Mayo Clinic Hospitals and Ascension Alexian Brothers in Illinois.
All three have been in the top 250 for more than 20 years.
There was also AdventHealth Orlando in Florida, which has been in the top 250 for seven years in a row, and received the most Healthgrades awards in the US for 2024.
Tisch Hospital at NYU Health has also been in the top 250 for six consecutive years and is New York’s number one ranked hospital for eight key specialties, including cardiac, stomach and intestine care, lung care and stroke care.
HCA Healthcare has a total of 54 hospitals across 12 states that rank in America’s best – the most of any healthcare network.
The most improved hospitals for 2024 were Altru Hospital in North Dakota, HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood in Texas and Texas Health Specialty Hospital.
HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood embarked on a $30 million expansion in 2021 to upgrade its infrastructure upgrade and aging equipment.
This included a $3 million cath lab, which is used to view the arteries and check how well blood is flowing to and from the heart.
The hospital also received a $4.2 million hybrid operating room, as well as $1.9 million spent on surgical robots.
To identify America’s best 250 hospitals, Healthgrades used more than 45 million Medicare medical claims at the hospitals between 2020 and 2022.
Hospitals cannot opt-in or out and nor submit their own data.
The hospitals were rated across 31 condition and procedure groups.
The team focused on two key aspects: how many patients die as a result of their condition or procedure and how many experience additional health issues.
They also considered different risk factors that could affect the treatment’s success, such as existing health conditions, age, gender, the type of procedure performed, and admission source.
A team of data scientists identified which risk factors are most important in predicting patient outcomes.
They then created a model which predicts the expected outcome for each hospital based on their patients’ conditions and risk factors.
They look at each hospitals patients individually, and compare them to the average outcome for each patient based on their existing conditions and reason why they came to the hsopital.
This allows them to generate an expected death rate for each hospital and expected complications rate for each hospital.
The actual outcomes of the hospitals were compared to the predicted outcomes to see how well they performed.
The top 100 hospitals were the ones that had been in the top 250 for at least the past five years.
Those that made the top 50 were those that made the top 250 list consecutively for the past seven to eight years.
Dr Bowman said that among the top performing hospitals, there tends to be a very strong culture of continually wanting to improve.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘They tend to all have internal quality teams – people that are always looking at their data and measuring patient outcomes. They have a very good handle on how they’re performing.’
At the other end of the spectrum, Dr Bowman said the worst performing hospitals tend to have staffing and resource issues.
‘They just don’t have the money or the financial resources to have a dedicated quality team.
‘They may be serving very challenging populations, they may not have enough doctors, they may not have enough nurses, that tends to be something we hear on that end of the spectrum much more about staffing levels.
‘We rarely, if ever, hear that about from the top hospitals. The top hospitals tend to have enough staff to take care of their patients. And [the top hospitals have] better facilities, more modern facilities, more facilities.’
‘The strong stayed strong this year,’ he said. ‘No unexpected churn.’
Dr Bowman added: ‘There’s a lot of hospitals in the top 50, who you’ve probably never heard of, or expect to be in the top 50.
‘There’s a lot of hospitals that you’d expect to be in the top 50, just because of brand or reputation, that aren’t at the top 50.’
This is because some of the smaller, lesser-known hospitals may be outperforming the famous sites, he said.
‘Obviously there’s some great hospitals,’ Dr Bowman said. ‘But there’s also other hospitals, sometimes academic, sometimes just small community hospitals, that are just doing a really good job. Their scores are just a little bit better, or they’re just a little bit more consistent, measured objectively.’
‘You know the heavy hitters who are always going to be on this list. To me, the more interesting part is the hospital that no one ever expected, that’s been doing a great job and has been doing a great job for a long, long time, [and are] unrecognized.’
Healthgrades also picked out the top ranked hospitals in 32 states across 18 key specialty areas, including critical care, joint replacement spine surgery.
For the specialties, California had the most awards with 90, followed by Texas with 88 and Florida with 86.
For prostate surgery, the best hospitals are in California, Florida, New York and Texas.
Those same states are also home to the top places for heart surgery, alongside Michigan and Pennsylvania.
For neurosciences, including stroke, the best hospitals are in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.