MUSC replaced as top S.C. hospital in new U.S. News rankings

Medical University Hospital slipped one spot in the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report hospital rankings.

Medical University Hospital is no longer No. 1 in South Carolina, according to new hospital rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.

The Charleston teaching hospital tied for second place this year with AnMed Health in Anderson. Spartanburg Regional Medical Center ranked first.

A spokeswoman for the Spartanburg hospital declined to comment on Monday.

Only five South Carolina hospitals were included on the list, compared with eight hospitals last year. Greenville Memorial Hospital, Roper Hospital and Mary Black Health System, which were all ranked in 2013, were excluded from this year's list.

U.S. News releases national and statewide hospital rankings every summer and rankings for a number of other things, including diets, colleges, cars and cruise lines, throughout the year.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., earned the top spot among 17 of the country's best hospitals on the 2014-2015 Hospital Honor Roll. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore ranked No. 2 and 3.

None of South Carolina's hospitals made the Honor Roll. Neither did any South Carolina hospital receive a national ranking for a specialty. Last year, three MUSC specialities - ear, nose and throat, nephrology, and rheumatology - ranked nationally among some of the best programs in the U.S.

"We don't put a lot of weight on (the rankings). There are many ranking systems. We use them more as a direction to help us," said Medical University Hospital CEO Dr. Pat Cawley. "As to this ranking, it's a little bit hard to me to comment because we don't know the full details. ... Once the numbers come out, we'll dig into it as we do with any of these surveys."

The U.S. News hospital rankings are based on several factors, including reputation, mortality rates, patient safety, nurse staffing levels and patient volume. The methodology changed slightly this year. More weight was assigned to patient safety for 12 of the specialty rankings and less weight was given to the hospital's reputation.

"(Patient safety) is still only 10 percent. The biggest chunk is still on reputation," said Dr. Rick Foster, senior vice president for quality and patient safety at the S.C. Hospital Association. "It's going to be hard to crack that national list, especially if reputation makes up such a big part of it."

The rankings do not include military or Veterans Affairs hospitals because the federal government will not release data for those facilities, a U.S. News press release explained.

The full U.S. News & World Report rankings are available online,

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.