July 12, 2008

M.D. Anderson No. 1 in Cancer Hospital Ranks

By Lynn Cook, Houston Chronicle

Jul. 12--The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is the nation's top cancer treatment hospital for the second year in a row, according to the latest list by U.S. News & World Report.

M.D. Anderson regained the top spot last year after falling behind Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

"Every day, our faculty, staff and volunteers live our mission to eradicate cancer, and this honor recognizes their relentless efforts. We share this with all of our courageous patients who are both our inspiration and driving force in making cancer history," M.D. Ander- son President John Mendel- sohn said in a prepared statement.

The magazine's "America's Best Hospitals" issue hits newsstands this weekend. Several Houston medical facilities were ranked, including The Methodist Hospital, which placed in 12 medical specialties, and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, which placed in eight.

That's fewer rankings for both Texas Medical Center institutions than last year when Methodist placed in 14 of 16 specialties and St. Luke's placed in nine.

But Methodist still has more spots on the list than any other hospital in Texas. Its highest rankings were for urology and neurology-neurosurgery.

"This achievement is a tribute to our physicians and employees whose talents, dedication and compassion make Methodist one of the best hospitals in the country," Ron Girotto, CEO and president of The Methodist Hospital System, said.

St. Luke's rankings include the Texas Heart Institute making the top 10 list for heart surgery for the 18th consecutive year.

On a separate list of the nation's best children's hospitals, Texas Children's Hospital ranked in all seven medical specialties rated, second in the country for respiratory aliments and third for cancer treatment.

The Menninger Clinic and Woman's Hospital of Texas each received one ranking. Memorial Hermann TIRR ranked high for rehabilitation and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center also ranked for urology.

No hospital in Texas scored the biggest honor -- recognition as one of the nation's top hospitals overall.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the top three are Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

According to the magazine, hospitals are judged not in routine procedures but in difficult cases across a specialty. Out of 5,453 hospitals considered, 170 scored high enough to appear in specialty rankings.

To be considered for most lists, which are based on criteria including death rates, reputation and nursing care, hospitals must either be affiliated with a medical school, a member of the Council of Teaching Hospitals or employ at least six of 13 key technologies such as robotic surgery.

Two-thirds of U.S. hospitals do not meet these qualifications.

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