Johns Hopkins ranked highly on US News’ ‘Best Hospitals’ list

For Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 Best Hospitals rankings are more of the same: holding steady on the prestigious “Honor Roll” and drawing more acclaim in several specialties.

Hopkins kept its No. 3 spot on the “Honor Roll,” behind Mayo Clinic (No. 1) and Cleveland Clinic (No. 2) — similar to last year’s, except it was Massachusetts General instead of Cleveland Clinic in the No. 2 spot (Massachusetts General drops to No. 6 this year on the honor roll).

The “Honor Roll” spotlights the 20 U.S. hospitals that offer “exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care.”

Hopkins’ performance befitted its nationwide reputation, ranking in the top 50 nationwide for nearly all of the 16 specialties measured. It topped the list of hospitals for ear, nose and throat; neurology and neurosurgery; rheumatology, and psychiatry.

Hopkins was particularly strong nationwide for cancer (No. 4), gastroenterology and G.I. surgery (No. 4), geriatrics (No. 5), urology (No. 3), ophthalmology (No. 3), and nephrology (No. 4).

“They provide high quality care in a number of complex areas of medical care,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis.



U.S. News evaluated nearly every community hospital in the nation for this year’s rankings, which also looked at how each handles 10 procedures and conditions. It was based largely on objective, care-related indicators, such as risk-adjusted survival and discharge-to-home rates.

“What we look at depends on what kind of area of care we’re evaluating,” Harder said.

Out of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide, 134 were nationally ranked in one specialty, while 563 were ranked among the best regional hospitals in a state or metro area.

Around the D.C. metropolitan area, the top standout was Inova Fairfax Hospital, which ranked No. 9 nationwide for gynecology and “high performing” in nephrology (also known as kidney health). It was also “high-performing” in nine of the 10 procedures and conditions measured.

“It was high performing in virtually every area of procedures and conditions that we evaluated,” Harder said.

A “high-performing” designation means that institution is among the top 10% nationwide. While over 1,400 hospitals were rated high in at least one procedure or condition, only 37 were “high performing” in all 10.

No. 2 in the D.C area was MedStar Washington Hospital Center, buoyed by its No. 37 overall rating in cardiology and heart surgery. MedStar was also a high performer in urology and nephrology, as well as in six procedures and conditions.

That includes a transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

“One new rating that we published this year is for a procedure called TAVR, which is an alternative to open heart surgery for some patients with a heart condition,” Harder said.

Four other D.C.-area hospitals were high performers in one specialty: Suburban (orthopedics), Inova Alexandria (neurology and neurosurgery); George Washington University (nephrology); and Inova Fair Oaks (neurology and neurosurgery).

Maryland’s next-best-ranked hospital was the University of Maryland Medical Center. That Baltimore hospital ranked 21st overall in the ear, nose and throat specialty and 35th overall in cancer. It was high performing in five other specialties.

The University of Virginia Medial Center topped the list in the commonwealth, ranking 41st nationwide in gynecology; 42nd nationwide in ear, nose and throat; and “high-performing” in six other specialties.

U.S. News, as always, reminds would-be patients to be strategic and find the hospital that best fits their needs.

“Depending on what kind of care they need, they may need to look at a different rating than their next door neighbor,” Harder said. “Find a hospital that’s good at that particular type of care, and hopefully one that’s in their insurance network and is convenient to where they live.”

The rankings arrive at a moment when the COVID-19 pandemic is straining hospitals and their staff nationwide.

U.S. News is honoring those on the front lines in conjunction with the 2020-2021 rankings.  It is profiling over 65 “Hospital Heroes” nationwide, and sharing top hospital executives’ insights on navigating the path forward.

These rankings were compiled before COVID-19’s impact on the nation’s health care system.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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