An Analysis Of The US News & World Report Methodology For Attribution Of Specialty Care In Otolaryngology And Urology

Abstract [from journal]

US News & World Report (USNWR) rankings can assist patients with choosing where to receive their specialty care. USNWR methodology assumes that the specialty caring for hospitalized patients is equivalent to the specialty assigned by administrative coding. We examined the frequency of discordance between USNWR methodology-assigned specialty and the actual specialty care received for 2 surgical specialties, otolaryngology (ENT) and urology (GU). Our analysis included inpatient deaths identified by USNWR coding for these specialties from 2013 to 2017 at a single academic tertiary care center. We found that a minority of patients with deaths attributed by USNWR to these 2 specialties were actually cared for by ENT (6/14; 43%) or GU (3/19; 16%). Only 5 of 14 (36%) and 2 of 19 (11%) deaths were potentially associated with ENT and GU care, respectively. We identified a significant discordance between USNWR-assigned specialty and the actual specialty care received.