M.D. Anderson Is Top Cancer Hospital, Once Again

Nick Mulcahy

July 21, 2015

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is once again the top-ranked cancer hospital in the United States, according to 2015/16 rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

The Houston hospital scored a perfect 100, beating out 902 other facilities in the United States.

The reascension in the rankings for M.D. Anderson comes after a scandal in 2013, when it was revealed that the center’s seven straight years of first-place finishes was enhanced in each of those years by a huge data error by the center, as reported by Medscape Medical News.

The next year, after M.D. Anderson corrected the data error, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City rose to the top, after having finished in second place for seven consecutive years.

However, Memorial Sloan Kettering dropped to number two again this year, with a score of 94.7 out of a possible 100.

“We’re honored by this tremendous national recognition, but the true measure of our success is the number of lives we’ve impacted with our care, research, and support,” said Ronald A. DePinho, MD, president of M.D. Anderson, in a press statement.

M.D. Anderson has had a long-held ambition to be pre-eminent, according to historian James Olson, PhD, the author of Making Cancer History, an institutional history of the cancer hospital, and professor of history at Sam Houston State University, in Huntsville, Texas.

One of the former top administrators, Lee Clark, MD, "thought about being the top cancer center in America every day," and was "quite calculated" in pursuing that goal, Dr Olson told Medscape Medical News in 2012.

The Top 20 Cancer Hospitals

1 University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston
2 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City
3 Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
4 Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston
5 Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/University of Washington Medical Center
6 Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
6 UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles
8 Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston
9 UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco
10 Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital in California
11 Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania–Penn Presbyterian in Philadelphia
12 Cleveland Clinic
13 City of Hope in Duarte, California
14 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis
15 University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora
16 Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago
17 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
18 Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida
19 Mayo Clinic in Phoenix
20 New York–Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell in New York City


Last year, U.S. News & World Report made multiple changes to their Best Hospitals rankings methodology, including an increase in the importance of patient safety and a decrease in the influence of reputation.

Patient safety accounts for 10% of each hospital's overall score, which is twice as much as in the past. Hospital reputation, which is determined through a national survey of medical specialists, diminished in importance by 5% on the scorecard. However, reputation is still very influential, with the weight of this component being 27.5%.

These annual rankings are not important to everyone.

"It's much pomp and circumstance and ends up being more about marketing than patient care," Ted Okun, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance in Washington, DC, told Medscape Medical News last year.


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