Patient Experience

Healthcare News of Note: Mayo Clinic in Minnesota earns top spot in Best Hospitals ranking

August 8, 2022 4:12 pm
  • Twenty hospitals were named to the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Best Hospitals Honor Roll, with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, earning the No. 1 slot.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that has implications for hospitals.
  • The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among 11 high-income countries, according to NIHCM.

Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.   

1. America’s top 20 hospitals named in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, earned the rank of No. 1 in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Best Hospitals Honor Roll published July 26. Nineteen additional U.S. hospitals also made the list by excelling in the full range of adult inpatient care.

“The Best Hospitals Honor Roll highlights 20 hospitals that excel across most or all types of care evaluated by U.S. News,” wrote author Ben Harder. “Hospitals received points if they were nationally ranked in the 15 specialties – the more specialties and the higher their rank, the more points they got – and if they were rated high performing in any of the 20 procedures and conditions. The top point-scorers made the Honor Roll.”

Over 5,000 hospitals are evaluated each year, according to the report. The top 20 hospitals are:

1.  Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

2.  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

3.  NYU Langone Hospitals, New York City

4.   Cleveland Clinic

5.   Tie: John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

       Tie: UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

7.    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York City

8.     Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

9.     Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago

10.   Stanford Health Care – Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California

11.   Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis

12.   UCSF Health – UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

13.   Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania – Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

14.   Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

15.   Houston Methodist Hospital

16.   Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

17.   University of Michigan Health, Ann Arbor

18.   Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

19.   Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville

20.   Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

The mission of the annual Best Hospitals rankings has been “to help guide patients, in consultation with their doctors, to the right hospital when they need care,” wrote Harder.

2. HHS formally declares monkeypox a public health emergency

The declaration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of a public health emergency (PHE) pertaining to the monkeypox virus unlocks additional funding and resources to fight the disease.

Many provisions of a PHE are at the discretion of the HHS secretary, so it remains to be seen whether they will be implemented.

For providers, as has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic, the declaration means HHS and CMS can compel reporting of monkeypox-related testing and hospitalization data.

The declaration also allows for additional funding as needed to counter the disease. The funding can be distributed in part to the federal Hospital Preparedness Program, which coordinates responses to disease outbreaks among hospitals and other healthcare entities in a defined geographic area.

A PHE also grants authority to the HHS secretary to waive federal regulatory requirements. Among various areas, waivers may apply to Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation, licensure requirements, obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, and some HIPAA privacy rules.

With respect to HIPAA, waivers generally apply only for 72 hours after a hospital has instituted a formal disaster protocol. For Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, waivers apply upon request from a hospital at the discretion of CMS. Those waivers can last for the duration of the PHE but may need to be renewed every 60 days.

PHE declarations last 90 days and can be renewed indefinitely, as seen with the COVID-19 PHE, which has been in place since January 2020 and is scheduled to run at least through mid-October.

For more information on PHEs, see this FAQ.

More than 6,600 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the U.S. since May, with 26,000 cases reported globally.

“We are taking our response to the next level by declaring a public health emergency,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a news release.

— Nick Hut, HFMA senior editor

3. NIHCM: The United States is the only country among 11 high-income nations where maternal mortality is increasing

“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among 11 high-income countries, and is the only one where maternal mortality is increasing,” according to NIHCM (National Institute for Health Care Management).

Additional information from NIHCM’s “Uneven Burden of Maternal Mortality in the U.S.” infographic, released on Aug. 2, includes:

  • In 2020, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, a 14% increase from the prior year, even though 2 out of 3 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
  • Pregnancy-related mortality in the United States has been steadily increasing for decades, from 7.2 per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 17.3 in 2017.
  • A majority (52%) of pregnancy-related maternal deaths occur post-partum  up to one year, followed by 31% that occur during pregnancy and 17% around the time of delivery.
  • The mortality rate among Black women is nearly three times that of white women. In 2020, the rate of maternal deaths for white women was 19.1 per 100,000 live births compared with 55.3 for Black women. “These racial disparities are linked to structural racism, underlying chronic conditions, disparities in access to health care and many of the social determinants of health,” wrote the authors.

Ways to reduce maternal mortality

The infographic provides details on several ways the U.S. can reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. The suggestions include:

  • Invest in social determinants of health, including food security, affordable housing, transportation, access to care and education
  • Increase access to alternative perinatal clinicians, such as midwives
  • Diversify the prenatal workforce

HFMA bonus content

  • Review the Aug. 2 article, “Final rule for Medicare inpatient payments brings a big rate increase but falls short of what hospitals sought,” by Nick Hut, senior editor.
  • Listen to one of the latest HFMA Voices in Healthcare Finance podcast episodes, “Above and beyond in the Mile High City: Insights about the future of healthcare from HFMA’s 2022 Annual Conference,” hosted by Erika Grotto.




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