UK HealthCare again named best Ky. hospital in U.S. News & World Report rankings; report has overview of most Ky. hospitals

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Six Kentucky hospitals have been named among then nation’s “Best Regional Hospitals” in the annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

They are, in order: the University of Kentuckyhospital, Baptist Health Lexington, Baptist Health Louisville, a tie for fourth between Norton Hospital in Louisville and St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood-Covington Hospitals, and Louisville’s Jewish Hospital, which included evaluations of Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital.

To make the list, a hospital must offer a full range of services and either be ranked nationally in one of the 12 measured specialties or have three or more high-performance specialty rankings or three or more high performance procedures and conditions rankings.

UK HealthCare, for the third consecutive year, claimed the No. 1 ranking with its Albert B. Chandler Hospital. It ranked in the top 50 hospitals nationally for diabetes and endocrinology (#33), cancer (#38), ear, nose and throat (#45) and orthopedics (#45). The hospital moved from 50th to 38th in cancer care. The hospital’s Markey Cancer Center recently won its second five-year designation as a National Cancer Institute center, one of just 70 in the nation and the only one in Kentucky.

“More than 50 percent of our patients come from Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia where we have the highest cancer rates in the country,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the center, said in a news release.”With this ranking and our NCI-designation, this puts us on par with the top major cancer centers in the country and our patients should feel comfortable that they don’t need to go anywhere else to receive the highest quality care.”

Among specialties, UK received a “high performing” rank in geriatrics, nephrology (kidneys), neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology (lungs) and urology.

The rankings, now in their 29th year, compared more than 4,500 medical centers across the country in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. Kentucky has more than 120 hospitals.

Baptist Health had two of the state’s top three, with its main Lexington hospital ranking second and the one in Louisville ranking third. This is the sixth time in seven years that the Louisville hospital has been either No. 1 or tied for No. 1, according to a Baptist Health news release.

“This national recognition confirms what our patients tell us – that Baptist Health hospitals provide the very best of care,” Baptist Health CEO Gerard Colman said. “These rankings also illustrate the daily commitment of our physicians, nurses and staff to live out our mission of leading in clinical excellence, compassionate care and growth to meet the needs of our patients.”

The report also recognizes hospitals that are “high performing” for nine common adult procedures and conditions, including: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery.

Baptist Health Lexington was ranked high performing in all of the categories except COPD, for which it received an average rating. Baptist Health Louisville ranked high performing for all except COPD and lung cancer surgery, in which it was ranked average.

UK HealthCare ranked high performing for six specialties: colon-cancer surgery, heart-bypass surgery, heart-failure treatment, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung-cancer surgery. Norton also ranked high for six: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, COPD, colon-cancer surgery, heart-failure treatment, hip replacement and knee replacement.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare, was listed as high performing for aortic heart-valve surgery, COPD, colon-cancer surgery, heart-failure treatment, hip replacement and knee replacement.

Jewish Hospital was ranked high performing for COPD, heart failure and lung cancer surgery.

Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville was also recognized for being nationally ranked (#49) for its pediatric diabetes and endocronology program.

The report offers an overview of more than 100 Kentucky hospitals with a breakdown of each of the measured categories, as relevant to the services the hospital provides. Click here for more information on how the magazine ranks the hospitals.

Nationally, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. claimed the No. 1 spot for the third year in a row on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. The Cleveland Clinicranked No. 2, followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according to the magazine’s news release.

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