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Top Hospitals for Equitable Access in 2024 Ranked by US News

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US News releases ranking of the best 53 hospitals across 26 states serving socioeconomically disadvantaged communities with high-quality care.

Today, US News & World Report presented its first-ever list of the “Best Regional Hospitals for Equitable Access” at The State of Equity in America meeting in Washington, DC.1

Health insurance concept hand - Kiattisak - stock.adobe.com

Image Credit: Kiattisak - stock.adobe.com

As the “global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice,” US News' analysis revealed 53 hospitals across 26 states serving socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Recognition was granted to the institutions that excelled in providing access to high-caliber care, resulting in exceptional patient outcomes.

“US News' recognition of the Best Regional Hospitals for Equitable Access highlights the important and necessary work hospitals are doing to improve care for underserved communities,” Tavia Binger, senior health data analyst at US News, said in a statement. “This positive representation of community hospitals' dedication to equitable access across 26 states is promising. However, this recognition also underscores the need for continued focus on prioritizing health care among vulnerable populations who may face numerous social and economic challenges in receiving care.”

The list was published in alphabetical order with a few notable observations according to region. California ranked highest in number of hospitals that made the cut, with 7 recognized institutions, followed by 4 in North Carolina, and 3 each in Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina.

Honing in on US cities with more than 1 hospital included, Baltimore, Detroit, St Louis, Tucson, and Tulsa each had 2 institutions listed.

US Regional Representation

  • Midwest: Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and North Dakota
  • Northeast: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
  • South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
  • West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Oregon

The Best Regional Hospitals for Equitable Access

  • Adventist Health-White Memorial (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Advocate Trinity Hospital (Chicago, IL)
  • Altru Health System-Grand Forks (Grand Forks, ND)
  • Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (Medford, OR)
  • Ascension St. Agnes Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
  • Ascension St. John Hospital (Detroit, MI)
  • Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Banner-University Medical Center Tucson (Tucson, AZ)
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St Louis, MO)
  • Cape Fear Valley Medical Center (Fayetteville, NC)
  • Carle Foundation Hospital (Urbana, IL)
  • Christian Hospital (St Louis, MO)
  • Cooper University Health Care-Camden (Camden, NJ)
  • Corewell Health Dearborn Hospital (Dearborn, MI)
  • ECU Health Medical Center (Greenville, NC)
  • Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
  • Grady Memorial Hospital (Atlanta, GA)
  • Grand Strand Regional Medical Center (Myrtle Beach, SC)
  • Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit, MI)
  • Hillcrest Medical Center (Tulsa, OK)
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, VA)
  • Jefferson Health-Stratford, Cherry Hill and Washington Township (Stratford, NJ)
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (Baltimore, MD)
  • JPS Health Network-Fort Worth (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers (Fontana, CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center (Sacramento, CA)
  • Lexington Medical Center (West Columbia, SC)
  • Loma Linda University Medical Center (Loma Linda, CA)
  • McLeod Regional Medical Center (Florence, SC)
  • MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (Clinton, MD)
  • Mercy Hospital Springfield (Springfield, MO)
  • Mercy San Juan Medical Center (Carmichael, CA)
  • Methodist Hospitals of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
  • Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital (Greensboro, NC)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals-Elmhurst (Elmhurst, NY)
  • Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center (Lafayette, LA)
  • Parkland Health-Dallas (Dallas, TX)
  • Providence Alaska Medical Center (Anchorage, AK)
  • Providence St. Mary Medical Center (Apple Valley, CA)
  • St. Francis Hospital-Tulsa (Tulsa, OK)
  • St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Hartford, CT)
  • Salem Hospital (Salem, OR)
  • Sanford Medical Center-Bismarck (Bismarck, ND)
  • Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (Chula Vista, CA)
  • TMC Healthcare-Tucson (Tucson, AZ)
  • UAMS Medical Center (Little Rock, AR)
  • UCHealth Memorial Hospital (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • UF Health Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital (Birmingham, AL)
  • UNC Hospitals (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Yale New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT)

Collaborative Efforts for Equity

Through The Center on Health Equity and Access,The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) aims to improve health care delivery and health outcomes due to health disparities by maintaining a content platform focused on education, training, frontline perspectives, and practical application of evidence-based methodologies. This mission is supported in large part by AJMC® strategic alliance partners.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as one of the Best Regional Hospitals for Equitable Access by US News & World Report. This accolade underscores our unwavering commitment to ensuring that every member of our community has access to high-quality health care,” Al Patin, CEO of Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center, said in a written statement to AJMC®. “Equitable access is a cornerstone of our mission. When we say ‘patients first,’ we mean all patients, and we are dedicated to continuing our efforts to remove barriers and provide inclusive, compassionate care to everyone. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team.”

Eligibility Criteria

To attain this status of equitable access, these hospitals had already qualified as 2023-2024 Best Regional Hospitals2 and additionally met at least 2 of the following criteria3:

  • No less than 40% of their Medicare inpatient visits came from socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods. Socioeconomic deprivation was gauged using the Area Deprivation Index (ADI) from the Neighborhood Atlas, considering both national and state comparisons. Neighborhoods with ADI values above 70 nationally or above 7 within a state were classified as deprived.
  • A substantial Medicaid population, constituting at least 20% of their patient base, or achieving the highest category in US News’ “Representation of low-income patients” measure.
  • At least 20% of their Medicare inpatients undergoing elective care were from racial or ethnic minority groups, or if they treated a significant Medicare population from one or more of 5 racial/ethnic minority groups and scored the highest category in US News’ corresponding race/ethnicity representation measures.

Another article published today by US News highlighted institutions with prominent quality measures along with a practice of providing for various underserved populations.3

"At Parkland Health, a top hospital in Dallas, for example, four out of every 10 patients are on Medicaid..." authors wrote. "At Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, six out of every 10 patients insured by another government program, Medicare, are Black, exceeding the 28% share of Medicare-insured Atlanta residents who are Black. In Tulsa, OK, over a quarter of patients at both St. Francis Hospital and Hillcrest Medical Center are on Medicaid. Both hospitals serve a large proportion of patients from more disadvantaged communities, as well as sizable numbers of Native American patients. More than a quarter of patients treated at NYC Health and Hospitals-Elmhurst are on Medicaid, and two-thirds of its Medicare patients are non-white."

Overall, the 53 hospitals recognized for equitable access are leading examples for the US health care system, supporting the notion that a hospital can prevail with quality care while providing a substantial amount of care to vulnerable and underserved communities, according to Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at US News.1

“Recognizing community hospitals that lead in this respect is a modest but necessary step toward ensuring everyone in the US has access to high-quality medical care," he said in the statement.

References

1. U.S. News announces inaugural “Best Regional Hospitals for Equitable Access” recognition. News release. US News and World Report. June 5, 2024. Accessed June 5, 2024. https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2024-06-05/u-s-news-announces-inaugural-best-regional-hospitals-for-equitable-access-recognition

2. Best hospitals by region. US News and World Report. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area

3. Binger T, Winston J, Zhou X. At these top hospitals, socioeconomically vulnerable patients find care. US News and World Report. June 5, 2024. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/second-opinion/articles/2024-06-05/at-these-top-hospitals-socioeconomically-vulnerable-patients-find-care

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