Children’s National gets high marks in latest US News rankings of pediatric hospitals

U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2020-2021 rankings of the nation’s best children’s hospitals, and one D.C. institution made the top 10 overall.

Children’s National Hospital dropped one place, from No. 6 last year to No. 7 for 2020-2021, and was listed on U.S. News’ “Honor Roll.”

The hospitals that made the “Honor Roll” were found to “deliver exceptionally high-quality care across multiple specialties.”

Boston Children’s Hospital claimed the No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive year.

The latest ranking of pediatric hospitals does not include COVID-19 data. Ben Harder, U.S. News’ chief of health analysis, said that although there are certain risks that need to be addressed to minimize being exposed to COVID-19, there are still babies being born and children getting sick, so it is still important to get care.

Absent from the latest top honors was last year’s No. 9, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, but it still distinguished itself in all of the 10 specialties examined, as did Children’s National Hospital.

U.S. News requested medical data and other information from nearly 200 facilities, and evaluated 118 in 10 areas: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal (GI) surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.

Eighty-eight of the hospitals evaluated were ranked in the Top 50 in at least one specialty.

“We look at a lot of data points across 10 different pediatric specialties, and in every single one of those specialties Children’s National Hospital in D.C. rises to the top of our analysis,” Harder said.

The rankings for Children’s National Hospital are as follows: first in the specialty of neonatology, No. 6 in cancer, No. 3 in cardiology and surgery, No. 10 in diabetes and endocrinology, No. 21 in gastroenterology and GI surgery, No. 7 in nephrology, No. 3 in neurology and neurosurgery, No. 9 in orthopedics, No. 9 in pulmonology and No. 25 in urology.

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center’s scores in the following categories are: No. 11 in cancer, No. 29 in cardiology and heart surgery, No. 12 in diabetes and endocrinology, No. 19 in gastroenterology and GI surgery, No. 16 in neonatology, No. 11 in nephrology, No. 13 in neurology and neurosurgery, No. 12 in orthopedics, No. 20 in pulmonology and No. 26 in urology.

Here is how other hospitals in Maryland and Virginia scored:

  • Cardiology and surgery — No. 37 University of Virginia Children’s Hospital; No. 41 University of Maryland Children’s Hospital
  • Diabetes and endocrinology — No. 40 University of Virginia Children’s Hospital
  • Neonatology — No. 49 University of Virginia Children’s Hospital
  • Nephrology — No. 43 Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
  • Orthopedics — University of Virginia Children’s Hospital
  • Urology — No. 29 Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU; No. 43 University of Virginia Children’s Hospital.

The rankings are designed to help parents who might be seeking treatment for complex, rare pediatric conditions.

U.S. News stresses that the rankings should be considered a “starting point” in finding the right place for care, noting that no size fits all and that parents should also weigh other considerations, such as proximity and an insurer’s willingness to cover care.

For many sick children, there will likely be a hospital near them that can provide treatment for their illness. And after treatment or surgery, follow-up care is equally important to consider. Plus, follow-up care is best provided at the same hospital that provided the surgery, Harder said.

Why geography is an important consideration in choosing care

More than 1,500 measures were used to rate the hospitals in each specific areas of care, including outcomes and best practices. One subjective measure used, Harder said, was a survey of thousands of pediatric medical specialists across the U.S. that asked where they would send their sickest and most complicated patients.

View the complete list at U.S. News & World Report.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital because it is based in Florida, not Maryland.  

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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