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U.S. News & World Report: Best Hospitals

Top Hospitals by Specialty continued...

To view the rankings, see www.usnews.com/best-hospitals.

Ben Harder, U.S. News managing editor of health care analysis, says people can get good care at many hospitals, not just those on the list.

“It’s important to note that the patients whom Best Hospitals is designed to serve are not typical hospital patients -- they are the sickest and most vulnerable,” Harder says. “Patients with more 'routine' medical needs -- those seeking an uncomplicated hip-replacement operation, for example, or uncomplicated cardiac bypass surgery -- may have good odds even at hospitals not ranked by U.S. News.”

The site also has additional information on its Best Regional Hospitals list (www.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area).

How to Use Rankings

The rankings can help people compare health care options and choose wisely, says Erica Mobley, director of communications and development for The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit advocating for health care quality and safety. She was not involved in the U.S. News rankings, but Leapfrog issues hospital safety scores.

"We would encourage consumers to consult a variety of different rankings, including our own hospital safety scores," she says. The U.S. News specialty rankings are particularly useful, she says, if consumers need a specific treatment.

"Consumers still don't think of health care as something you shop for," she says. "But with all these ratings, there is an opportunity to do just that."

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