US News’ best hospitals for 2019-2020 include this Md. standout; see DC-area’s best

July 30, 2019

AP/Patrick Semansky, file

Once again, one of the region’s top hospitals is among the nation’s best as well.

In its 30th annual ranking of best hospitals, U.S. News & World Report ranks Johns Hopkins Hospital No. 3 overall. The two that outscore the Baltimore hospital on the “Best Hospitals Honor Roll” are Massachusetts General in Boston (No. 2) and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (No. 1).

More than 4,500 medical centers nationwide were compared across 16 specialties and nine procedures and conditions. Of those, 165 hospitals are nationally ranked in at least one specialty.

Hospitals on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll distinguish those institutions that are in the top 20 for delivering “exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care,” U.S. News said in a statement.

Hopkins, for instance, ranks very well in such complex specialty areas as cancer care (No. 4); diabetes and endocrinology (No. 5); gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery (No. 3); geriatrics (No. 1); urology (No. 2); nephrology (No. 2); neurology and neurosurgery (No. 1); ophthalmology (No. 3); psychiatry (No. 3); and rheumatology (No. 1).

“It is very rare for a hospital to be ranked in that breadth of areas of complex care,” said Ben Harder, U.S. News’ managing editor and chief of health analysis.

Hopkins was No. 3 on last year’s Honor Roll, too, but the publication is discouraging apples-to-apples comparisons between this year’s and last year’s, as the methodology has changed.

“We revised the methodology to incorporate new measures of patient-centered care and to enhance how we account for differences in hospitals’ patient populations,” Harder said.

U.S. News examined whether a patient is discharged to their home rather than to a nursing home or another hospital, for instance. They also factored in a patient’s experience, based on a uniform federally mandated survey.

“I think that having been the father of a patient, a patient myself [and] the son of a patient of hospital care, patient experience is a really important aspect of care and how well doctors communicate with you, how well nurses communicate with you [and] how well you understand how you’re supposed to take care of yourself when you get home from the hospital,” Harder said.

“Those are all really important aspects of the care that the hospital provides.”

DC area’s best-performing hospitals

U.S. News also recognized the best hospitals in 200 metro areas and regions across the country. In all, 569 hospitals ranked in at least one specialty or with “high performing” ratings in at least three procedures and/or conditions.

Here are the top-rated hospitals around D.C.

1. Inova Fairfax Hospital in Annandale, Virginia, ranks 13th overall nationally in gynecology and is rated high performing in nephrology. It also is rated high performing in several procedures or conditions, including aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, and colon cancer surgery.

2. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in D.C. is a high performer in such specialties as cancer care, geriatrics and orthopedics. It also excels in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery and hip replacement surgery.

3. MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. is ranked 41st overall nationally in cardiology and heart surgery and is rated high performing in gastroenterology/gastrointestinal surgery and urology. Other standout areas include aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery and colon cancer surgery.

4. Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington stands out in six procedures or conditions, including hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery and heart failure.

5. (tie) George Washington University Hospital in D.C. is a high performer in cancer care and nephrology. It does similarly well in lung cancer surgery and in treating heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

5. (tie) Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, is noteworthy in nephrology and in treating heart failure and COPD. It’s also a high performer in terms of knee and hip replacement surgeries.

5. (tie) Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia, excels in treating COPD and heart failure; in knee and hip replacement surgeries; and in lung cancer surgery.

8. (tie) Sibley Memorial Hospital in D.C. is rated high performing in orthopedics; colon cancer surgery; and knee and hip replacement surgeries.

8. (tie) Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Chantilly, Virginia, earns high-performing marks in knee and hip replacement surgeries, too, as well as in urology and abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

10. (tie) Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, excels in treating heart failure and in performing hip and knee replacement surgeries.

10. (tie) Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a high performer in treating COPD and heart failure and in colon cancer surgery.

See the full list of U.S. News’ 2019-2020 Best Hospitals at

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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