The study finds gains in quality of hospital care and slower cost growth over five years, which analysts say may be a harbinger of future trends as more hospitals shift from fee-for-service payment models.
Truven Health Analytics has named its 100 Top U.S. hospitals for 2017.
The annual five-year trend analysis is based on overall organizational performance between 2011 and 2015, and uses markers such as inpatient mortality and complication rates, 30-day readmissions, and lengths of stay.
The analysis also found that cost growth was flat for most of the hospitals.
"The hospital industry's ongoing transition from fee-for-service to value-based care appears to be bearing some positive results for both patients and payers," Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president at Truven Health Analytics, said in remarks accompanying the list.
"The magnitude of improvement we've observed over the last five years is greater than any other five-year period we've tracked," she said.
"On top of that, this year's winners have reached new highs in performance in comparison to peers across the country, which suggests that improvement in value from hospitals is likely to continue."
The 100 Top Hospitals study calculates five-year changes in performance on an annual basis. This directional performance data provides a granular look at where U.S. hospitals are showing the most significant improvement, and where performance has plateaued or declined.
Some of the most noteworthy trends in overall hospital performance include:
- Improved 30-Day Readmission Rates: One of the most closely watched quality metrics, 30-day readmission rates, has shown improvement in 52% of hospitals over the past five years. That rate has stayed flat in 48% of hospitals and worsened in .1% of hospitals.
- Improved Mortality Index: The risk-adjusted mortality showed improvement in 21% of hospitals, remained steady in 79% of hospitals, while only 0.1% of hospitals saw an increase in mortality.
- Shorter Average Length of Stay: The severity-adjusted average length of stay improved in 18% of hospitals over the same time period. That rate held steady in 76% of hospitals and worsened in 6% of hospitals.
- Flat Inpatient Expenses: The average cost of treating an inpatient over five-years improved in 2% of hospitals, held flat in 79% of hospitals, and worsened in 19% of hospitals.
Top 100 Benchmarks Exceed Peers
The 100 Top Hospitals winners' performance and improvement was markedly better than that of peers, including mortality index rates that were 23% better and complications index rates that were 17% better.
This was achieved while incurring inpatient expenses that were 9% lower.
Truven estimates that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in its 100 Top Hospitals:
- Nearly than 89,000 additional lives could be saved;
- Over 61,000 additional patients could be complication free;
- Over $5.6 billion in inpatient costs could be saved;
- The average patient stay would decrease by half a day;
- Over 300,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days;
- Patients would spend nine minutes less in hospital emergency departments per visit.
Truven, a subsidiary of IBM Watson Health, evaluates clinical and operational performance in 11 areas: inpatient mortality; 30-day mortality rate; complications; core measures; 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate; severity-adjusted average length of stay; mean emergency room throughput; inpatient expense per discharge; Medicare spend per beneficiary; adjusted operating profit margin; and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems score. The study has been conducted annually since 1993.
Major Teaching Hospitals
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital – Park Ridge, IL
Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville – Jacksonville, FL
Beaumont Hospital - Royal Oak – Royal Oak, MI
Emory University Hospital – Atlanta, GA
Houston Methodist Hospital – Houston, TX
NorthShore University HealthSystem – Evanston, IL
Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Chicago, IL
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans, LA
OhioHealth Doctors Hospital – Columbus, OH
Providence - Providence Park Hospital – Southfield, MI
SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital – St. Louis, MO
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital – Ann Arbor, MI
St. Luke's University Hospital - Bethlehem – Bethlehem, PA
University of Colorado Hospital – Aurora, CO
University of Utah Health Care – Salt Lake City, UT
Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale – Hinsdale, IL
Aspirus Wausau Hospital – Wausau, WI
Beaumont Hospital - Grosse Pointe – Grosse Pointe, MI
Bethesda North Hospital – Cincinnati, OH
Billings Clinic Hospital – Billings, MT
BSA Health System – Amarillo, TX
Franciscan Health Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital – Muncie, IN
Kendall Regional Medical Center – Miami, FL
Lancaster General Hospital – Lancaster, PA
LDS Hospital – Salt Lake City, UT
Mercy Health Saint Mary's – Grand Rapids, MI
Mercy Hospital St. Louis – St. Louis, MO
Newton-Wellesley Hospital – Newton, MA
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital – St. Louis Park, MN
Parkview Regional Medical Center – Fort Wayne, IN
Poudre Valley Hospital – Fort Collins, CO
Riverside Medical Center – Kankakee, IL
Rose Medical Center – Denver, CO
Sentara Leigh Hospital – Norfolk, VA
St. Cloud Hospital – St. Cloud, MN
St. Luke's Boise Medical Center – Boise, ID
St. Mary's Hospital – Madison, WI
St. Vincent Healthcare – Billings, MT
The Christ Hospital Health Network – Cincinnati, OH
Large Community Hospitals
Advocate Condell Medical Center – Libertyville, IL
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center – Medford, OR
Chandler Regional Medical Center – Chandler, AZ
Chester County Hospital – West Chester, PA
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Tyler – Tyler, TX
EvergreenHealth Kirkland – Kirkland, WA
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital – Pinehurst, NC
Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center – Daytona Beach, FL
Henrico Doctors' Hospital – Richmond, VA
Logan Regional Hospital – Logan, UT
Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center – Houston, TX
Mercy Hospital – Coon Rapids, MN
Mosaic Life Care – Saint Joseph, MO
North Florida Regional Medical Center – Gainesville, FL
Roper Hospital – Charleston, SC
Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla – La Jolla, CA
St. David's Medical Center – Austin, TX
St. Francis Downtown – Greenville, SC
WellStar West Georgia Medical Center – LaGrange, GA
West Florida Hospital – Pensacola, FL
Medium Community Hospitals
American Fork Hospital – American Fork, UT
Baptist Medical Center Beaches – Jacksonville Beach, FL
Baylor Scott & White Healthcare - Round Rock – Round Rock, TX
Blanchard Valley Hospital – Findlay, OH
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital – Charleston, SC
Chino Valley Medical Center – Chino, CA
Clermont Hospital – Batavia, OH
Dupont Hospital – Fort Wayne, IN
Fairview Park Hospital – Dublin, GA
Holland Hospital – Holland, MI
Inova Fair Oaks Hospital – Fairfax, VA
Medical Center of the Rockies – Loveland, CO
Mercy Medical Center – Cedar Rapids, IA
Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, LA
Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa – Nampa, ID
Sherman Oaks Hospital – Sherman Oaks, CA
St. Vincent Carmel Hospital – Carmel, IN
Sycamore Medical Center – Miamisburg, OH
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth – Fort Worth, TX
West Valley Medical Center – Caldwell, ID
Small Community Hospitals
Alta View Hospital – Sandy, UT
Aurora Medical Center – Two Rivers, WI
Aurora Medical Center – Oshkosh, WI
Fairview Northland Medical Center – Princeton, MN
Franklin Woods Community Hospital – Johnson City, TN
Hawkins County Memorial Hospital – Rogersville, TN
Henry Community Health – New Castle, IN
Lakeview Hospital – Bountiful, UT
Lakeview Hospital – Stillwater, MN
Lakeview Medical Center – Rice Lake, WI
Oaklawn Hospital – Marshall, MI
OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center – Pontiac, IL
Parkview Huntington Hospital – Huntington, IN
Spectrum Health United Hospital – Greenville, MI
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital – Zeeland, MI
St. John Owasso Hospital – Owasso, OK
St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital – Howell, MI
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance – Fort Worth, TX
Waynesboro Hospital – Waynesboro, PA
Yampa Valley Medical Center – Steamboat Springs, CO
The Truven 2017 study may be downloaded [PDF].
Truven's comprehensive list of past winners may be viewed here.
John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.