UK HealthCare and St. Elizabeth Edgewood-Covington Hospitals tie for best Ky. hospitals in U.S. News & World Report rankings

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

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

The No. 1 hospitals in Kentucky are the University of Kentucky hospital and St. Elizabeth Edgewood-Covington Hospitals, followed by Baptist Health LexingtonBaptist Health Louisville, Louisville’s Norton Hospitals , and U of L Health-Jewish Hospital.

To make the list, a hospital must:

  • Offer a full range of services;
  • Rank nationally in one of 11 measured specialties, or have seven or more high-performance rankings for procedures and conditions; and
  • Have at least three more “high performing” than “below average” rankings for procedures and conditions.

The report offers an overview of 123 Kentucky hospitals with a breakdown of each of the measured categories, according to the services a hospital provides.

UK HealthCare, for the seventh straight year, is No. 1 with its Albert B. Chandler Hospital. It ranked in the top 50 hospitals nationally for cancer care for the sixth straight year, ranking 33rd. Its Markey Cancer Center is Kentucky’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, and one of 71 in the nation.

“In Kentucky, we have the highest rates of cancer in the country, and this issue is especially pronounced in Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia,” Dr. Mark Evers, director of UK’s Markey Cancer Center, said in a news release. “Nowhere in the country is it more important for people to have access to complex and compassionate cancer care. This ranking is a testament to the hard work of Markey’s health care providers and staff, who are committed to ensuring that no patient has to travel outside the state for the care they need.”

The evaluation of the UK hospital includes data from Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. The hospital system was also nationally ranked as high performing in two adult specialties: gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery and geriatrics and two children’s specialties: pediatric cardiology and heart surgery and pediatric orthopedics.

Ten common adult procedures and treatments for conditions at UK HealthCare also received a high-performing designation: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colon cancer surgery, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, kidney failure, lung cancer surgery, ovarian cancer surgery, pneumonia, and stroke.

St. Elizabeth Edgewood-Covington Hospitals, which tied for No. 1 with UK, ranked high performing in 14 procedures and conditions, including: COPD, colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, back surgery (spinal fusion), stroke, hip fracture, hip replacement, knee replacement, and pneumonia.

Baptist Health Lexington, which tied for No. 3 with Baptist Health Louisville, ranked high performing in 11 procedures and conditions: COPD, colon cancer surgery, uterine cancer surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, back surgery (spinal fusion), stroke, hip fracture and hip replacement. This hospital received one below-average mark, for transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Baptist Health Louisville ranked high performing in 10 procedures and conditions: COPD, colon cancer surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart attack, aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, diabetes, stroke, hip replacement and knee replacement.

Norton Hospitals (Norton Audubon HospitalNorton Brownsboro HospitalNorton Healthcare Pavilion and Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital) ranked No. 5 in Kentucky and No. 2 in Louisville. It ranked high performing in nine procedures and conditions: COPD, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, stroke, maternity care for uncomplicated pregnancies, hip replacement and knee replacement. It ranked below average for uterine cancer surgery.

UofL Health-Jewish Hospital, which also included data from UofL Health-Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, ranked No. 6 in Kentucky and No. 3 in Louisville. It ranked high performing in seven procedures and conditions: COPD, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure, stroke and knee replacement. This hospital ranked below average for back surgery (spinal fusion) and hip fracture.

The 33rd annual rankings compared hospitals in 15 specialties and 20 common procedures and conditions. This year, the survey added new cancer ratings: ovarian cancer surgery, prostate cancer surgery and uterine cancer surgery.

Of the 4,500-plus hospitals evaluated, only 164 were nationally ranked in at least one specialty, compared to 175 last year, and 493 were ranked among the Best Regional Hospitals in a state or metro area, compared to 531 last year.

While it is not included in the rankings, the U.S. News report includes an updated health equity measure  for each hospital that features measures of racial disparities in unplanned readmission, a measure of how much charity care each hospital provides, and a measure of how well low-income patients are represented among the patients each hospital serves.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions about how the magazine ranks the hospitals.

Nationally, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., claimed the No. 1 spot, followed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, NYU Langone Hospitals in New York and Cleveland Clinic.

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