August 13, 1997

Are "America's Best Hospitals" America's Best?-Reply

Author Affiliations

New York University Medical Center New York, NY

JAMA. 1997;278(6):474-475. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550060050025

In Reply.  —"America's Best Hospitals" is a peer standard for medical care evaluation, since it implies that hospitals can be judged remotely with no direct knowledge of the care provided. If a Patientwakesup with chest pain and a potential heart attack, he or she may want to select the hospital that is fastest at starting thrombolytic (or other appropriate) therapy. There are no data like that in US News &World Report (or anywhere else).Dr Hartz and colleagues tried to gauge the cardiology rankings from "America's Best Hospitals" against CABG mortality rates from New York and Pennsylvania. This is a useful exercise because there has been no external validation of US News &World Report's rankings. Unfortunately these CABG mortality rates are themselves seriously flawed.1Dr Hill and Mr Comarow, the developer and publisher of "America's Best Hospitals," respectively, have no mandate that compels them "to forge ahead" regardless of the