What Does the MGH U.S. News Ranking Mean?

By Jordan Weinstein

July 17, 2012

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The Yawkey Pavilion at Mass. General Hospital. (Courtesy MGH)

BOSTON — If you work in the medical field and especially a hospital, there was probably quite a buzz at work on July 17. That's because the annual Best Hospitals ranking was released by the U.S. News and World Report. Massachusetts General Hospital ranked first and Brigham and Women's ninth. MGH president Dr. Peter Slavin called the ranking a "tribute to the more than 23,000" staff at the hospital. 
But how much should we pay attention to these rankings? Do they even matter? To gain insight and perspective, I talked with Dr. Harlan Krumholz, professor at Yale School of Medicine. He said that despite the popularity of these lists, there is currently no good place to get reliable information on hospitals: All ratings seem to have their bias and are not completely based on hard outcomes data. However, Medicare is working on a possible solution.

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