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Duke Doctors Say Hospital Rankings Overlook Patient Economic Status

Stethoscope lying on papers with a pen in background
Hospital rankings released each year may not account for regional differences and socioeconomic factors that impact patient health, a new article suggests.

Organizations publish ranked lists of the country’s best hospitals every year in an effort to guide patients to high-quality care. One of the most visible, U.S. News and World, released their 2020-21 Best Hospitals Honor Roll on Tuesday.

But a new article from two Duke Health doctors and a Duke University scholar suggests these rankings fail to account for regional differences and socioeconomic factors in underlying patient health. Dr. Jonathan A. Bae, Lesley H. Curtis, and Dr. Adrian F. Hernandez co-authored the paper. Host Anita Rao talks with Dr. Bae about centering patient experience in measuring healthcare quality and how using a rating system instead of a ranking system could start that process.

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