Press Releases

Healthgrades Releases 2019 Analysis of Top Quality Hospitals and National Health Index Spotlighting Cities Getting Healthcare Right

Denver, Colo. (Oct. 23, 2018)—Today, Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, released the 2019 Report to the Nation, an analysis of nearly 4,500 acute care hospitals and their variation in clinical quality and outcomes. Healthgrades also released the 2019 National Health Index, a study of cities getting healthcare right.

Healthgrades 2019 Report to the Nation

In the 2019 analysis, Healthgrades evaluated hospital performance relative to 32 common conditions and procedures, offering insight on the variation in clinical quality and outcomes across the country. The analysis found that patients treated at hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have a lower risk of dying and a lower risk of experiencing one or more complications during a hospital stay than if they were treated at hospitals receiving a 1-star rating in that procedure or condition. From 2015 through 2017, if all hospitals as a group performed similarly to hospitals receiving 5-stars as a group, on average 222,210 lives could potentially have been saved and 157,210 complications could potentially have been avoided.*

“Consumers have many choices for healthcare, but most important is understanding that there is a significant variation in care from hospital to hospital and doctor to doctor. In fact, hospitals within close proximity to each other can have significant differences in complication and mortality rates for the same condition or procedure,” said Brad Bowman, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “The analysis of hospital quality is intended to spotlight the importance of doing your homework before selecting your care. It could be a matter of life or death.”

Healthgrades National Health Index

Healthgrades also released the 2019 National Health Index, a study** of cities across the country getting healthcare right. Rochester, MN, Burlington, VT, Charleston, SC, Cincinnati and Baltimore top this year’s list of 100 ranked cities. The Index evaluated more than a dozen variables, grouped into four health care factors to determine if a city was getting healthcare right: 1) whether the residents of each city were healthy overall, 2) if consumers had access to health care, 3) if local specialists achieved high marks in patient satisfaction and physician count per capita and 4) if patients had access to high quality hospitals, determined using the Healthgrades 2019 hospital quality analysis.

“The National Health Index is designed to help consumers understand the health of their community, to empower them to navigate their care journey with confidence and to help them access the right care in their market,” said Archelle Georgiou, MD, senior advisor to Healthgrades and author of Healthcare Choices. “Health and healthcare is comprised of many different factors. To understand whether a city is getting healthcare right is complex, which is why Healthgrades compiled numerous industry data sets to help paint a more complete picture of healthcare at the local level in cities across the country.”

The Healthgrades National Health Index also found that:

  • The residents of San Francisco, CA, were the healthiest of all cities on the list, and received high scores across population health factors that were assessed.
  • Worcester, MA topped the list with the highest access to health care.
  • Residents of Rochester, MN reported the highest satisfaction with and had the greatest number of specialists per capita.
  • Rochester, MN’s population has the best access to high quality hospitals.

*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2015 through 2017 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

**The National Health Index is a measure that evaluates health and healthcare in metropolitan areas and is based on data from four sources: selected responses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2016 survey at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)-level; provider specialty information and patient experience survey scores available from at the Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) accessed on September 5, 2019; 2017 population estimates from the United States Census Bureau; and Healthgrades 2019 award year hospital quality ratings at the MSA-level.


About Healthgrades

Healthgrades is dedicated to empowering stronger and more meaningful connections between patients and their healthcare providers. At, we help millions of consumers a month to find and schedule appointments with their provider of choice. With our scheduling solutions and advanced analytics applications, we help more than 500 hospitals across the country to cultivate new patient relationships, improve patient access, and build customer loyalty. At Healthgrades, better health gets a head start.