Rankings From US News and World Report Have Minimal Correlation With Kidney and Liver Transplant Recipient Survival Results From Retrospective Data

Exp Clin Transplant. 2021 Oct;19(10):1014-1022. doi: 10.6002/ect.2021.0043. Epub 2021 Jul 26.


Objectives: Increased demand for quality health care has led to lay-press ranking systems, such as the ranking from US News and World Report (US News). Their "Best Hospitals" publication advertises itself as the go-to resource for patients seeking care in a number of specialty areas. We sought to test the relationship between US News rankings and transplant outcomes.

Materials and methods: Using data from 2014 to 2018, we compared outcomes from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients database for liver and kidney transplants against US News-ranked centers using the categories "Nephrology" and "GI Surgery and Gastroenterology" as substitutes, as US News does not rank transplant centers specifically. P < .05 was set as significant.

Results: Using hazard ratio data, we found that kidney transplant center rank had only a small impact on postoperative outcomes in terms of patient survival (hazard ratio = 0.996, P = .049) but had no impact on graft survival (hazard ratio = 0.997, P = .077). In addition, liver transplant center rank had no impact on liver graft survival (hazard ratio = 1.003, P = .304). The impact of hospital ranking on survival was minimal compared with other variables.

Conclusions: The US News rankings for "Nephrology" and "GI Surgery and Gastroenterology" have minimal values as a measure of liver and kidney transplant outcomes, highlighting that these lay press rankings are not useful to the unique transplant patient population and that providers should help guide patients to transplant-specific resources.

MeSH terms

  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome