When it comes to bragging rights for hospital rankings in Indiana, one health system continues to lead the pack: Indiana University Health.
For the 22nd straight year, IU Health has won national recognition by landing on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Honor Roll.”
Its medical center—a combination of Methodist and University hospitals downtown and Saxony Hospital in Fishers—was ranked the best hospital in Indiana and Indianapolis, and the only nationally ranked adult hospital in the state.
U.S. News rolled out the winners on July 29. The publication ranks 16 specialty areas through a mix of data and physician surveys.
Despite IU Health’s high marks, the Indianapolis-based health system slipped from last year, when it ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. in a whopping eight specialties. This year, IU Health was nationally ranked in just one specialty, geriatrics, where it was named 45th best, down from 28th best last year.
IU Health blamed the slippage on a change in U.S. News’ methodology, including a new focus on mortality data, to determine national specialty rankings.
Other changes in the methodology include a “patient experience score” and a new measure that examines how often patients go directly home from the hospital rather than transitioning to a nursing home or other educational setting, U.S. News said, explaining the change.
It also includes a risk-adjustment model that accounts for differences in patient populations, so that hospitals that treat sicker patients are not penalized.
“The changes in methodology have created an apples-to-oranges situation which we think is confusing to consumers, who now do not have comparable data year to year when they read the US News rankings,” IU Health said in an email to IBJ.
The health system added: “IU Health was among the hospitals that saw fewer ranked specialties as a result of the changes.”
No other Indiana adult hospitals ranked nationally in any specialty.
The annual rankings, now in their 30th year, are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making decisions about where to get care.
In the Indianapolis area alone, IU Health scored top place, followed by Community Hospital East and St. Vincent Indianapolis, which were tied for second.
Statewide, IU Health’s medical center won top place, followed by Deaconess Hospital in Evansville and Elkhart General Hospital, which were tied for second place.
The 20 hospitals with the most and highest rankings and the greatest number of high-performing procedure and condition ratings are recognized in an honor roll for best hospitals overall. None this year was in Indiana.
Nationally, the top five hospitals overall were Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Cleveland Clinic and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell.