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September 21, 2023

Annual PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals® Program Study Reveals Key Insights on Inpatient Mortality and Readmissions*

Key takeaways:

  • A PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals®program study revealed 51 hospitals were repeat winners, supporting research that indicates winners have sustained improvement.
  • According to the study, if all hospitals performed as well as the 100 Top Hospitals®, when extrapolated to all Medicare inpatients, more than 227,000 additional lives could be saved in-hospital, among other positive impacts.
  • PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals® are taking balanced performance to the next level by identifying opportunities to consistently deliver healthcare value to patients, communities and payers.

Every year for the last 30 years, the 100 Top Hospitals® program has produced an annual, quantitative study that highlights the nation’s top-performing hospitals and health systems that have the highest achievements on a balanced scorecard.

The program’s goal is to inspire hospital and health system leaders to strive for higher performance and provide added value to the communities they serve.

Selecting 2023’s 100 Top Hospitals® Winners

This year’s study of U.S. hospitals began by working to identify top performers and deliver actionable insights to help them better focus their initiatives for consistent, balanced and sustainable improvement. The selection process included:

  1. Building the database of hospitals, including special selection and exclusion criteria.
  2. Classifying hospitals into comparison groups by size and teaching status.
  3. Scoring hospitals on a balanced scorecard of 10 performance measures in five main components of hospital performance: inpatient outcomes, extended outcomes, operational efficiency, financial health and patient experience.
  4. Incorporating a community health measure into the ranking process.
  5. Ranking hospitals relative to their comparison group.

Rankings Based on Public Data

Working to identify the 100 Top Hospitals®across the nation can be challenging. This study relies on transparent, publicly available data from Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data and data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Care Compare website to select hospitals and health systems who consistently deliver healthcare value to patients, communities and payers.

“The 100 Top Hospitals® program data is unbiased, publicly available and really does provide a realistic comparison to similar health systems, which is important for us as a health system,” said Chandan Gupte, Vice President, MHC Clinical Excellence and Research, McLaren Health Care.

Study Findings

This year’s study shows hospitals and health systems included on the 100 Top Hospitals® program list, when compared to similar hospitals, outperformed their peers in indicators that were intended to measure clinical, operational and financial performance as well as patient experience.

Fifty-one hospitals were repeat winners from the previous year indicating sustained improvement in quality, clinical, operational and financial performance as well as patient experience. Hospital winners with higher composite scores on the balanced scorecard typically indicate more effective leadership and a consistent delivery of value.

The study revealed differences between award winners and their nonwinning peers, where the winners:

  1. Exhibited lower inpatient mortality, where a 35.8 percent difference was found in index value (0.69 and 1.07, respectively) was observed.
  2. Had fewer patient complications.
  3. Delivered care that resulted in fewer healthcare associated infections (HAIs).
  4. Had lower 30-day mortality and 30-day hospital-wide readmission rates.
  5. Sent patients home sooner.
  6. Kept inpatient expenses low while still maintaining a healthy financial environment.
  7. Scored higher on patient ratings of their overall hospital experience.

Our study projections also indicate that if the benchmarks of performance established by this year’s winners were achieved by all hospitals in the U.S., the following could be true for the 2023 study year:

  1. More than 227,000 additional lives could be saved in-hospital.
  2. More than 432,000 additional patients could be complication-free.
  3. More than $15.7 billion in inpatient costs could be saved.
  4. More than 21,700 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days.

This analysis is based on applying the difference between study winners and nonwinners to Medicare patient counts. If the same standards were applied to all inpatients, the impact could be even greater.

Focus on Improving Healthcare

As the nation continues to focus on changing healthcare for the better, helping communities served and advancing health equity, hospitals and health systems are increasingly recognizing the importance of identifying areas within their walls to improve quality, patient safety, clinical outcomes, operations and financial performance.

“I think we learn just as much, if not more, from the areas where we see underperformance and the areas that need improvement…So while we love the designation, it's actually the insights that it reveals about how we could be better that is most meaningful,” said Justin Klamerus, M.D., M.M.M., Chief Clinical Officer, McLaren Health Care.

Transparent and nonbiased measures like those utilized by the 100 Top Hospitals® program are generating actionable insights to help hospitals and health system leaders make informed decisions for change. The program’s detailed insights, national benchmarks and trend reports will help drive meaningful improvement in healthcare across the nation.

*Survey Methodology
Premier conducted the PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals®program study in August 2023. Researchers evaluated 2,644 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals and health systems. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Care Compare website. For complete methodology details, please review the Methodology section on page 36 of the complete study here.

For more on this topic:

  1. Download the complete PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals®program study.
  2. Learn how the PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals® program can assist your hospital in quality improvement, benchmarking and strategy development.

Tara Bain, RN, BSN

Vice President, 100 Top Hospitals® Program, Premier
Bain leads the 100 Top Hospitals® program which analyzes publicly available data in a non-biased, transparent way to help hospitals improve performance and recognize the top performing hospitals nationwide that are worthy of the designations as a 15 Top Health System™, 100 Top Hospitals® and 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital™.