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The Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2014-15

By Kimberly Leonard

Some hospitals are more expert than others in caring for patients with life-threatening or rare conditions. And people facing such health challenges need every bit of help they can get. That’s why U.S. News & World Report has published annual rankings of the nation’s Best Hospitals for the last quarter-century. 

Related: See the Complete Rankings: Best Hospitals 2014-15

The 2014-15 rankings cover nearly 5,000 medical centers across the country and span 16 medical specialties from cancer to urology. Hospitals with very high scores in at least six specialties earned a spot on the Honor Roll. Just 17 hospitals made this year’s list. 

Related: See Pictures of the 17 Honor Roll Hospitals 

For the first time, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, claimed the No. 1 Honor Roll spot, barely edging out Massachusetts​ General Hospital. Johns Hopkins Hospital, which in 2012 lost a 21-year first-place reign, was No. 3. 

The 2014-15 Honor Roll: 

17. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University

Location: St. Louis

Honor Roll Points: 9

Highest rankings: Pulmonology (#9), Nephrology (#11), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#11), Urology (#11), Ophthalmology (#12).

Honor Roll rank last year: 15

See all of this hospital’s rankings

16. Mount Sinai Hospital

Location: New York 

Honor Roll Points: 10

Highest rankings: Geriatrics (#2); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#9); Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#10); Ear, Nose & Throat (#10). 

Honor Roll rank last year: Was not on Honor Roll. 

See all of this hospital’s rankings.

The Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2014-15

15. NYU Langone Medical Center

Location: New York

Honor Roll Points: 10

Highest rankings: Orthopedics (#4), Rheumatology (#6), Geriatrics (#8), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#8). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 14

See all of this hospital’s rankings

14. Duke University Hospital

Location: Durham, North Carolina 

Honor Roll Points: 11

Highest rankings: Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#4), Pulmonology (#5), Ophthalmology (#6).

Honor Roll rank last year: 12

See all of this hospital’s rankings

12. (tie) UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Location: Pittsburgh

Honor Roll Points: 11

Highest rankings: Ear, Nose & Throat (#7); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#7); Rheumatology (#9).

Honor Roll rank last year: 10

See all of this hospital’s rankings

12. (tie) Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Location: Los Angeles

Honor Roll Points: 11 

Highest rankings: Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#6), Orthopedics (#7), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#8). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 13

See all of this hospital’s rankings

11. University of Washington Medical Center

Location: Seattle

Honor Roll Points: 12

Highest rankings: Rehabilitation (#4), Cancer (#6), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#10). 

Honor Roll rank last year: Was not on Honor Roll. 

See all of this hospital’s rankings

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10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Location: Chicago

Honor Roll Points: 13

Highest rankings: Diabetes & Endocrinology (#8), Urology (#9), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#10). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 6

See all of this hospital’s rankings

9. Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Location: Boston

Honor Roll Points: 15

Highest rankings: Gynecology (#2), Cancer (#4), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#5), Nephrology (#5), Rheumatology (#5). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 9

See all of this hospital’s rankings

8. UCSF Medical Center

Location: San Francisco

Honor Roll Points: 17

Highest rankings: Nephrology (#4), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#5), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#5). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 7 (tie with New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell)

See all of this hospital’s rankings

7. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian

Location: Philadelphia

Honor Roll Points: 19

Highest rankings: Ear, Nose & Throat (#3); Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#7); Pulmonology (#7). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 11

See all of this hospital’s rankings

6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Location: New York 

Honor Roll Points: 22

Highest rankings: Psychiatry (#2), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#2), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#3), Rheumatology (#3), Nephrology (#3).

Honor Roll rank last year: 7 (tie with UCSF Medical Center)

See all of this hospital’s rankings

5. UCLA Medical Center

Location: Los Angeles 

Honor Roll Points: 23

Highest rankings: Geriatrics (#3), Urology (#4), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#5), Ophthalmology (#5). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 5

See all of this hospital’s rankings

4. Cleveland Clinic

Location: Cleveland 

Honor Roll Points: 26

Highest rankings: Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#1), Urology (#1), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#2), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#2), Nephrology (#2), Rheumatology (#2). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 4

See all of this hospital’s rankings

3. Johns Hopkins Hospital

Location: Baltimore

Honor Roll Points: 26

Highest rankings: Rheumatology (#1); Ear, Nose & Throat (#2); Neurology & Neurosurgery (#3), Urology (#3); Ophthalmology (#3); Psychiatry (#3). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 1

See all of this hospital’s rankings

2. Massachusetts General Hospital

Location: Boston

Honor Roll Points: 28

Highest rankings: Psychiatry (#1), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#3), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#3). 

Honor Roll rank last year: 2

See all of this hospital’s rankings

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1. Mayo Clinic

Location: Rochester, Minnesota 

Honor Roll Points: 29

Highest rankings: Diabetes & Endocrinology (#1); Ear, Nose & Throat (#1); Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#1); Geriatrics (#1); Gynecology (#1); Nephrology (#1); Neurology & Neurosurgery (#1); Pulmonology (#1).

Honor Roll rank last year: 3

See all of this hospital’s rankings

*Hospitals in 12 of the 16 specialties received 2 points per specialty for ranking in the top 10. They received 1 point for ranking in the next 10. In the other four specialties, hospitals received 2 points per specialty for ranking in the top five. They received 1 point for ranking in the next five.  

Hospitals are ranked nationally in each of the 16 specialties. This year 144 different hospitals rank in at least one specialty. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, for example, ranks first in cancer. The Cleveland Clinic tops the cardiology & heart surgery rankings. And the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York is No. 1 in orthopedics. Nationally ranked hospitals have the skill and experience to treat the most complex and demanding cases. 

Some patients might be unable to travel far for care – or shouldn’t have to, because their condition is more straightforward. To help them find care close to home, U.S. News also ranks more than 600 other hospitals by state, region and metro area. These Best Regional Hospitals, evaluated using the same standards as for national ranked centers, are themselves highly skilled, capable of serving the needs of most patients. 

Related: Best Regional Hospitals by Metro Area and State

Just three metropolitan areas have more than one Honor Roll hospital – New York CityBostonLos Angeles – that achieved this feat last year as well. 

To make the Honor Roll, a hospital had to achieve very high scores in at least six of the 16 Best Hospitals specialties. 

U.S. News bases the rankings largely on objective data on hospital performance, such as patient survival rates and resources like nurse staffing. Each hospital’s reputation, as determined by a survey of physician specialists, is also a factor. 

For patients under 18, U.S. News publishes Best Children’s Hospitals. The 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals, with rankings in 10 pediatric specialties and a Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll, was published in June. 

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