February 23, 2021
Health care in the United States has come into sharp focus over the past year as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic underscores the need for resilient hospitals and outstanding patient care.
Each year, provider rating service Healthgrades compiles a list of the best hospitals in the country, separating them into tiers of the top 50, 100 and 250.
The annual hospital rankings are based on patient outcomes that are adjusted for risk factors such as age, gender and medical condition.
They incorporate 32 common conditions and procedures, including heart failure, stroke, pneumonia, diabetic emergencies, hip replacement surgery, total knee replacements and spinal fusions. They do not factor cancer care or rare disease treatments.
The analysis uses patient outcome data on more than 45 million Medicare medical claims records for the most recent three-year time period available, covering nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide.
Separate rankings also are given in categories such as specialty excellence, patient safety excellence, women's care and outstanding patient experience.
The overall best hospital rankings in 2021 include two Philadelphia-area hospitals in the top 50 and several others in the top 250. Within each tier, hospitals are organized by state rather than in a specific rank.
The top 50 includes three Pennsylvania hospitals:
•Chester County Hospital, West Chester
•Lankenau Medical Center, Lower Merion
•Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster
In New Jersey, two hospitals made the top 50:
•Morristown Medical Center, Morristown
•Overlook Medical Center, Summit
The top 100 includes another four Pennsylvania hospitals:
•Chambersburg Hospital, Chambersburg
•Reading Hospital, West Reading
•St. Luke's Hospital — Bethlehem Campus
•St. Luke's Hospital — Allentown Campus
In the top 250 hospitals, several Philadelphia facilities made the cut:
•Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
•Jeanes Hospital, Philadelphia
•Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
•Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia
•Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton
•Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey
•Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media
•UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg, Harrisburg
•WellSpan York Hospital, York
In New Jersey, another two hospitals landed in the top 250:
•Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune
•Valley Hospital, Ridgewood
The hospitals that make Healthgrades top 250 collectively give patients a 24.7% lower risk of dying compared to hospitals that were not ranked. The risk of death significantly decreases at the ranked hospitals for patients with heart attacks (21.7%), stroke (30.3%), heart failure (34.7%) and sepsis (26.5%), according to Healthgrades data.
This year's rankings do not include data on COVID-19 outcomes, but that may become a metric to watch in the future for hospital performance evaluations.