Mass General officials took solace in noting that the Boston hospital was ranked No. 2 in the nation, No. 1 in New England, and placed highly in all of the 16 specialty areas identified by U.S. News.
"Of the nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated, Mass General has consistently placed among the top hospitals on the Honor Roll since the survey began in 1990," the hospital said in its media release.
U.S. News ranks up to 50 hospitals in each of 16 medical specialties. Just 147 out of nearly 5,000 hospitals earned national ranking in one or more of the specialties, the magazine said.
"The mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face a particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age," Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor said in a media release.
"Patient survival and safety data, the adequacy of nurse staffing levels and other objective data largely determined the rankings in most specialties." Comarow said another factor was a national survey that asked physicians in each of the 16 specialties to name the hospitals they consider best for the toughest cases in their specialty.
More impartial observers say that the U.S. News rankings are simply the most well-known of a series of hospital awards, all of which have their good and bad points.