HealthGrades disputes study in Archives of Surgery

A study in the Archives of Surgery finds that hospitals ranked as "best hospital,” in US News & World Report or HealthGrades do not have lower mortality rates than other American hospitals for cancer surgery.  HealthGrades is disputing the study, citing that the methodology is flawed, according to CNBC.

According to the article, HealthGrades cites several reasons that the study results are not accurate, including:

  • The Archives of Surgery study compares outcomes of patients undergoing cancer surgery to non-cancer patients with a variety of other diagnoses.
  • The study included only a small fraction of the Medicare patient records analyzed by HealthGrades in its America's 50 Best Hospitals study.  
  • The study methodology tries to compare two different treatment time frames and different outcome measures: HealthGrades America's 50 Best Hospitals study uses in-patient mortality and complications, whereas the study authors only looked at 30-day mortality.

(Sources:  The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, May 20, 2011; HealthGrades, Archives of Surgery,, May, 2011, CNBC,, May 19, 2011)