The University of Kansas Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital again topped Kansas City’s adult medical institutions in rankings released this week by U.S. News and World Report.
KU Hospital ranked first in the metro area and first in the state of Kansas, while St. Luke’s ranked second in the metro and second in Missouri to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
“We are honored, humbled and very happy about being recognized for the 11th year in a row as a top 50 hospital (nationwide),” said Bob Page, president and CEO of the KU Health System.
It was the eighth year in a row U.S. News named KU Hospital tops in the metro and the sixth year in a row it topped Kansas. St. Luke’s has been No. 2 in the metro and in Missouri every year since 2013.
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KU Hospital was nationally ranked this year in eight treatment categories: cancer (25th), cardiology (36th), gastroenterology (34th), geriatrics (18th), nephrology (46th), neurology (26th), pulmonology (32nd) and urology (17th).
St. Luke’s was nationally ranked in four: cardiology (34th), gynecology (48th), neurology (46th) and pulmonology (47th).
“We are especially proud for the Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute to join the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute as being recognized as one of the best programs in the nation in their specialty,” said Julie L. Quirin, senior vice president of hospital operations for Saint Luke’s Health System.
U.S. News evaluated 4,500 hospitals for the latest rankings. The media company has been publishing hospital rankings since 1990, compiling them through a combination of physician surveys and data.
The company changed its methodology to lean less on a hospital’s reputation and more on hard numbers last year — the same year the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced its five-star rating system based on data alone.
KU Hospital was given three stars in those rankings, while St. Luke’s got four and Shawnee Mission Medical Center was the only hospital in the metro area to get five.
But health policy experts have said the government star ratings are unfair to teaching hospitals like KU, which often treat sicker patients.
Page said all rankings have limitations and he sympathized with patients trying to make difficult decisions about where to get care.
“I think people are looking for different data points and I don’t think there’s one magic bullet,” Page said.