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UMHS drops in national rankings

By Emma Kerr, Daily News Editor
Published July 16, 2014

After several years of holding the top spot, the University of Michigan Health System is no longer the top-ranked hospital in Michigan. Furthermore, after 18 years of being on the Honor Roll, this is now the second consecutive year UMHS has failed to make this list of the top hospitals in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report annual rankings.

For the list, U.S. News and World Report evaluated 4,806 hospitals across the nation and of these, 144 were nationally ranked. The Honor Roll lists the top 18 hospitals nationally that rank in at least six categories.

UMHS was passed by Beaumont Hospital as the top hospital in Michigan, which ranked nationally in 10 different categories. While Beaumont has more nationally ranked specialties than UMHS, the total number of recognized specialties, including those receiving High Performing rankings, is 15 for UMHS and 12 for Beaumont. A grade of High Performing indicates that the area is in a tier just below national rankings. UMHS is now the second ranked hospital in Michigan.

In a statement posted online Tuesday afternoon, UMHS said they are taking action to boost their standards and improve their rankings next year.

“The latest adult rankings include a rise in numerical rank for three specialties, but declines for most others,” the statement read. “We remain hopeful that changes made at UMHS in recent years, such as improving coding of co-morbid conditions and performance on key safety indicators, should influence our performance on the U.S. News rankings in coming years.”

Though UMHS didn’t receive overall honors, it was nationally ranked for 2014-2015 in 8 out of 16 categories, an honor only given to 3.1 percent of the hospitals evaluated. The highest ranking received was in the category of ophthalmology with a ranking of 11th in the nation, the same as last year. UMHS’ national ranking dropped in categories such as Ear, Nose, and Throat, while it maintained other rankings in areas such as Urology. UMHS also showed improvement in 3 out of the 16 categories evaluated.

Tuesday’s statement also addressed the way data was gathered for the list, and said it may not paint an entirely accurate picture of the current state of UMHS.

“The 2014 rankings are based in part on patient safety data from the three years leading up to and including federal fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30, 2012,” the statement read. “As a result, improvement efforts we made in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that would impact performance in 2013 and beyond have not yet begun to influence our U.S. News rankings performance. In other words, it takes several years for the ranking survey to “catch up” to changes in data,” the statement said.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the criteria used to evaluate hospitals is based on objective data as well as reputation, and overall hospital performance, taking into consideration a variety of data such as patient survival rates and the resources offered by each hospital.

UMHS isn’t the only hospital to have a change in rankings. Last year was the first in 21 years that John Hopkins was not the number one hospital in the nation. That trend continued this year as Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota received the number one spot on the national hospital honor roll.


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