Publish date:

When considering different criteria, Minnesota's top hospitals ranking looks a lot different

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index considers community policies, inclusivity and value of care in addition to patient outcomes.
Ambulance hospital emergency

A new ranking of hospitals in the United States measures not just patient outcomes, but also community policies and if the hospital avoids unnecessary care, among other criteria.

Using these metrics means some of the world-renowned hospitals, like Rochester's Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital, are missing from the top spots on the Lown Institute Hospitals Index

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index was created to help hospitals excel at serving patients and communities, to address gaps in other hospital rankings and to provide a means for greater public accountability, the index's website notes.

The index bases its rankings on a few criteria: civic leadership (pay equity, community benefit spending and inclusivity), which is 30 percent of the overall score; value of care (avoiding low-value services that could harm patients), which is 20 percent of the overall score; and patient outcomes (clinical outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction), which makes up 50 percent of the overall score.

How Minnesota's hospitals rank

In Minnesota, the index looked at 72 hospitals, ranking Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming as the No. 1 hospital in the state.

The medical center, which is part of the larger M Health Fairview system, got an overall grade of an A-plus, with the index giving it a B for civic leadership, an A for value of care and an A for patient outcomes. 

Nationally, it ranks No. 67 out of more than 3,000 hospitals in the U.S. Meanwhile, Fairview Health Services ranked No. 1 in Minnesota for hospital systems and No. 13 nationally.

BMTN has reached out to M Health Fairview for comment.

At No. 2 in Minnesota is Mayo Clinic Health System-Albert Lea and Austin. It ranked No. 81 nationally with an A-plus overall grade (C in civic leadership, A in value of care and A in patient outcomes).

Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato came in just behind its southeastern counterpart, ranking No. 3 in Minnesota and No. 82 nationally. It also received an A-plus ranking (C in civic leadership, B-plus in value of care and A-plus for patient outcomes).

Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin ranked No. 4 in Minnesota (No. 102 nationally) with an A-plus grade (B in civic leadership, A-plus in value of care and A-minus in patient outcomes) and Sanford Worthington Medical Center in Worthington at No. 5 in Minnesota (No. 112 nationally) with an A-plus grade (B-plus in civic leadership, A in value of care and A-minus in patient outcomes). 

Rounding out the top 10 in Minnesota's rankings are: 

  • Winona Health Services in Winona at No. 6 (No. 147 nationally) with an A-plus grade (C in civic leadership, A-plus in value of care and A-minus in patient outcomes).
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis at No. 7 (No. 186 nationally) with an A-plus overall grade (D-minus in civic leadership, A-plus in value of care and A-plus in patient outcomes). 
  • Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji at No. 8 (No. 236 nationally) with an A-plus grade (B-minus in civic leadership, A-plus in value of care and B-plus in patient outcomes).
  • St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee at No. 9 (No. 287 nationally) with an A grade (C-minus in civic leadership, A-minus in value of care and A in patient outcomes).
  • Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park at No. 10 (No. 230 nationally) with an A grade overall (D in civic leadership, A-plus in value of care and A-minus in patient outcomes). 

The index also has lists of each "Lown Metric" it used to come up with its overall ranking, which shows how hospitals compare nationally in a specific measurement. 

Only one Minnesota hospital ranked in the top 10 on any of these lists, coming in at No. 10 in two metric categories. Perham Health in Perham ranked No. 10 nationally in value of care and No. 10 nationally in avoiding overuse (A-minus overall grade, No. 20 overall in Minnesota, No. 717 overall nationally).

Health systems in MN, ranked

The index also looked at health systems overall in Minnesota and nationally, with many of Minnesota's ranking in the top 60 nationally. 

Of the 10 health systems it looked at in the state, Fairview Health Services/M Health Fairview ranked No. 1 in Minnesota (No. 13 nationally out of 305).

Allina Health ranked No. 2 (No. 17 nationally), Sanford Health No. 3 (No. 51 nationally), Mayo Clinic No. 4 (No. 52 nationally) and CentraCare Health No. 5 (No. 58 nationally).

Of the state's remaining health systems, HealthPartners came in at No. 6 in Minnesota, Avera Health at No. 7, Catholic Health Initiatives No. 8, Ascension Healthcare at No. 9 and Essentia Health No. 10.  

The Lown Institute Hospital Index did say Minnesota is among the states to rank the best when it comes to value of care.

Where's Mayo Clinic in Rochester?

Some of the Minnesota hospitals that typically rank the best among all hospitals nationwide on other rankings did not crack the top 10 in Minnesota, nor were they ranked among the best in the nation. 

That includes the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, which came in at No. 24 in Minnesota and No. 956 nationally with an overall grade of a B-plus (D in civic leadership, D-minus in value of care and A-plus in patient outcomes). 

In a recent ranking, the Mayo Clinic ranked No. 1 in the nation on U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals list. That ranking looks at a hospital's performance in clinical specialties, procedures and conditions, basing scores on survival, patient safety, staffing and more.

And the hospitals Mayo typically competes against on the traditional top hospitals lists were also missing from the top 10 of the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, although they did rank better than the Mayo Clinic on the overall national rankings.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore ranked No. 61 in the U.S. (No. 1 of 41 in Maryland) and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston ranked No. 394 nationally (No. 28 of 55 in Massachusetts).

Next Up

Stock market chart

Ex-council member pleads guilty to stock manipulation scheme

Mark Allen Miller pleaded guilty alongside one other man to conspiracy to commit security fraud in U.S. District Court.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild: 5 things you can count on in the 2021-22 season

Can the Wild live up to their lofty expectations?

masks, schools

After petition, Minneapolis Schools reduces student COVID quarantine period

Close contacts previously had to quarantine for 14 days, but that's now reducing to 10.

Walz-May 6 - address

Walz to announce 'new action' on hospital capacity, expanding rapid testing

It comes as Minnesota's health system is facing it's biggest COVID challenge yet.

2021.10.14 - Simmons Item 2

Hidden room with explosive, guns found on indicted TikToker's property

The MN man has been indicted on numerous charges, including impersonating an officer.

718 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2019

Charges: Driver ran red light, crashed into woman on mobility scooter

The woman, who had the right of way, was thrown from the scooter and died.


Weekly COVID case rate rises in 73 counties

The highest case rates remain in greater Minnesota.

midwest rail

Twin Cities plays key role in new Midwest rail plan

The 40-year plan would mean 24 trips daily between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

bemidji minnesota

Would you move to Bemidji for $2,500? More than 20 have so far.

The city is running a program that will pay people $2,500 to relocate there.


doctor, surgery, masks

3 Minnesota children's hospitals among the best in new ranking

They ranked among the best on U.S. News and World Report's Best Children's Hospitals list.

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic named No. 1 on 'Best Hospitals' list

It's the sixth year in a row the Rochester hospital has been named the best of the best.

kid hospital doctor

3 Minnesota children's hospitals included in U.S. News 'Best of' list

No Minnesota hospitals cracked the top 10 in the U.S., but they did rank nationally in pediatric specialties.

Study: The most and least expensive hospitals, clinics in Minnesota

A tranche of analysis and data has been released by MN Community Measurement.

Edina hospital shooting sept. 14

2 suspects arrested in shooting at Edina hospital parking ramp

One man is accused of attempted murder, the other is suspected of aiding and abetting.

Edina hospital shooting sept. 14

Police continue to search for suspect in shooting outside Edina hospital

The hospital and surrounding area went into lockdown following the armed robbery and shooting, but has since reopened.

Children's Minnesota launches new health service for transgender youth

The hospital system will provide care specifically focused on transgender and gender-diverse children.

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 8.11.34 AM

Minneapolis hospital featured on NBC 'Nightly News' COVID-19 report

The feature segment comes as Minnesota hospitals are being filled with COVID-19 patients.