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Duke Regional Hospital named America’s most socially responsible hospital


The Lown Institute has released its rankings of healthcare facilities, which include patient outcomes, equity and value.

The Lown Institute has named Duke Regional Hospital the most socially responsible hospital in the country. (Photo: Duke Health)

The Lown Institute has named Duke Regional Hospital the most socially responsible hospital in the country. (Photo: Duke Health)

Duke Regional Hospital has earned recognition as the most socially responsible hospital in America, according to the Lown Institute.

The Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has released its list of the most socially responsible hospitals in the United States. The institute unveiled its rankings Tuesday.

The organization evaluated more than 3,600 hospitals, and 54 made the honor roll by earning “A” grades in three areas: equity, value and patient outcomes.

“Good hospitals make their patients healthier, but socially responsible hospitals make their communities healthier too,” Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, said in a statement.

“These are the hospitals America needs right now - hospitals that can set and achieve ambitious goals for serving their entire community," he said.

Duke Regional Hospital has fared well in the Lown’s ranking of socially responsible hospitals. A year ago, the hospital ranked second in the country, but this year it claims the top spot.

UC Health in Colorado also earned high marks, placing two hospitals among the top five on Lown’s list. UC Health Greeley ranked second, while UC Health Medical Center of the Rockies was fourth.

This is the fourth year of the Lown Hospital Index for Social Responsibility, which does more than track outcomes. The index measures community investment, racial diversity and inclusion and pay equity.

Here’s the top 10 from the Lown Institute rankings:

  1. Duke Regional Hospital - Durham, N.C.
  2. UC Health Greeley - Greeley, Colo.
  3. Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas - Austin, Texas
  4. UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies - Loveland, Colo.
  5. Tristar Horizon Medical Center - Dickson, Tenn.
  6. St. Luke's University Hospital - Bethlehem Campus - Bethlehem, Pa.
  7. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Pflugerville - Pflugerville, Texas
  8. Denver Health & Hospital Authority - Denver, Colo.
  9. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Ontario - Ontario, Ore.
  10. Mission Hospital McDowell - Marion, N.C.

In determining the most socially responsible hospitals, the Lown Institute says it examines publicly available data from Medicare and Medicare Advantage claims, hospital cost reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, information from the IRS and other sources.

The institute says it weighs outcomes, including safety metrics and patient satisfaction. The researchers examined mortality rates in the hospital, as well as 30-day and 90-day mortality. Hospitals were also evaluated on readmission rates.

The organization says it also considers factors such as cost efficiency and avoiding overuse, including examining treatments that are more likely to be harmful to patients.

The Lown Institute also noted that the top hospitals weren’t necessarily led by the highest-paid CEOs.

Overall, 70% of Lown’s “honor roll” hospitals paid their executives less than average compared to hospitals of similar size. The institute examined pay data from the IRS for the fiscal year ending in 2020.

The Lown Institute has been critical of hospitals paying hefty salaries to top executives, particularly at facilities with a wide pay gap between leaders and workers.

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