Which hospitals are the best?
More than 100 hospitals across Maryland are rated in the best hospitals in the nation by the American Hospital Association, according to data released Monday by the state’s top hospital administrator.
Maryland’s hospitals received the highest scores on a scale that factors in safety and quality of care, patient care, affordability and access to care, according a statement from the hospital administrator, Dr. Elizabeth H. McLeod.
The American Hospital Conference has been tracking hospitals since 2006, using the criteria of overall quality and safety.
The hospitals that received the most points in that metric were selected for inclusion in the ranking released Monday.
The rankings include scores on nine categories that measure hospital safety, quality of patient care and affordability, and they were based on data from more than 200 hospitals in 20 states and Washington, D.C.
The rankings include patient care scores for all hospitals and the quality of that care is assessed by the quality score used to rank hospitals.
Hospitals that scored below 50 percent were grouped into lower-ranked categories, and hospitals that scored more than 70 percent were ranked higher.
The data also shows that many hospitals are in rural areas, where residents are often unable to access quality care due to cost.
Hospits with lower-quality patient care can have lower rankings than those with higher-quality care.
For example, in rural Maryland, the average quality score for hospitals was 51.6 out of 100, compared to the national average score of 72.9.
The average quality scores were lower in rural and suburban areas, as well as in areas with limited population.
The Maryland Hospital Association is a trade group representing the health care industry and is an affiliate of the National Association of Hospital Directors.
McLeod did not respond to requests for comment.
The AMA has said the rankings are a nonpartisan and objective tool to help patients and policymakers make better decisions.
The ranking was published Monday on the AMA’s website.
The scores have historically been low for hospitals in urban areas.
The hospital score for Baltimore County, which includes Baltimore, ranked No. 15, and the hospital score of the city of Baltimore, which encompasses the nation’s largest city, No. 4.
The ranking was also lower in parts of the Northeast, including Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
The hospitals in Maryland that received high scores in these categories have a variety of advantages over the rest of the state, including the fact that they are located near people who are eligible for Medicaid, McLeod said.
For instance, the hospitals in Montgomery County, home to the nation and the nation best city, had the highest average scores on quality of health care in Maryland, with an average of 71.9, according the statement.
In contrast, the hospital scores of Baltimore’s suburban counties, which include Baltimore, and of the rest, were the lowest, at 53.8 and 54.1, respectively.
McLean also noted that the average scores for the other hospitals in her county were much higher than the scores for any of the other counties.
For the most part, rural hospitals in particular were in better shape than the urban areas, with scores ranging from 61.7 to 71.4.
McLean said that these rural hospitals were also able to keep up with the pace of growth in the city, with the exception of some of the hospitals with very low scores in patient care.
McLeans statement did not offer any specific explanations for the differences in scores in rural hospitals and urban hospitals.
The report said the scores are a reflection of patient safety and the level of quality care, but it did not give an indication as to how hospitals score on those scores.