UK HealthCare again named best Kentucky hospital in U.S. News & World Report rankings; Baptist Health has three of six on list

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

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

They are, in order: the University of Kentucky hospital, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood-Covington Hospitals, and in a tie for third, Baptist Health LexingtonBaptist Health LouisvilleNorton Hospital in Louisville and Baptist Health Paducah.

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 fourth consecutive year, claimed the No. 1 ranking with its Albert B. Chandler Hospital. The hospital also ranked in the top 50 hospitals nationally for cancer for the third year in a row, moving to its highest ranking yet in this category, 33rd. The hospital’s Markey Cancer Center is the state’s only National Cancer Institute center, one of 71 in the nation.

“The criteria for a hospital to be listed in the top 50 for cancer care is rigorous and competitive,” Dr. Mark Evers, director of the center, said in a news release. “This ranking, along with our status as an NCI-designated cancer center, is evidence of how we are making an impact in cancer care across Kentucky and beyond.”

Among specialties, UK ranked as high performing in geriatrics, nephrology (kidneys) and orthopedics.

The rankings, now in their 30th 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 three of the state’s top six hospitals, with Baptist Health Paducah gaining its first ever rank in the Best Hospitals survey, according to a Baptist Health news release.

“Our physicians, nurses and staff are centered on providing high quality patient care every day,” Gerard Colman, Baptist Health CEO, said in the release. “U.S. News & World Report rankings underscore that excellence, and confirm that we’re living out our mission of leading in clinical excellence, compassionate care and growth to meet the healthcare needs of our communities.”

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

UK Healthcare ranked high performing in all of the categories except abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, for which it received an average rating.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare ranked high-performing in one specialty, urology, and all but one of the procedures and conditions; it received an average rating for heart bypass surgery.

Baptist Health Lexington ranked high-performing for all the procedures and conditions except aortic valve surgery and knee replacement, for which it was rated average.

Baptist Health Louisville ranked high-performing for all the procedures and conditions except hip replacement and lung cancer surgery, for which it got an average rating.

Norton Hospital ranked high-performing for five of the procedures and conditions (COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement and knee replacement). It got an average rating on the other four.

Baptist Health Paducah ranked high-performing for aortic valve surgery, COPD and heart failure and was rated average rating on the other six.

Louisville’s Jewish Hospital, which included evaluations of Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital, dropped off of this year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Hospital list, having only ranked high-performing in two of the procedures and conditions categories, including COPD and heart failure. It received average marks for the rest.

Jewish Hospital recently put its heart transplant program on hold, and the future of the hospital remains uncertain since the University of Louisville announcedin June that it would not purchase it.

The report offers an overview of 123 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, including details on this year’s methodology changes.

Nationally, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. claimed the No. 1 spot again on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. Massachusetts General Hospital ranked No. 2, followed by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at No. 3, according to the magazine’s news release.

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