John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth is the best hospital in the country based on saving lives, saving money and serving everyone, according to a new ranking by the Washington Monthly.
"I had not heard of JPS, I'm embarrassed to say,” said Washington Monthly editor Paul Glastris. "The whole list was a surprise."
JPS is owned by Tarrant County and has a $1.2 billion yearly budget. Some 70% of patients have problems paying their bills.
"We don't ask any questions when people come into the emergency room (like) what do you make? What financially is your status?” said JPS chief executive Robert Earley. “We don't ask."
Parkland Hospital in Dallas came in ninth and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne ranked 18th. For a complete listing, click here for a link to the article.
The magazine editor said the survey considered not just patient outcomes -- but also broader criteria like how hospitals care for people who can't afford to pay.
"You know a lot of hospitals that are very prestigious don't do well in our rankings because they're not marketing to people who have poor insurance or no insurance,” Glastris said. “They're looking at marketing to people with very good insurance because frankly you make more money doing that."
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JPS got a boost two years ago when voters passed an $800 million bond issue, the largest in county history. It is paying for a large-scale expansion of community health services with a focus on mental illness.
Earley said the survey results reinforce what the hospital’s 7,200 employees already knew.
"To be ranked No. 1 in the nation for the kind of care you give just gives everybody a boost in the arm that says you know what? We knew we were doing well, we knew we were doing right, but (now) somebody is telling you,” he said. “It's wonderful!"
The Washington Monthly said it teamed up with the nonprofit health care think tank Lown Institute to come up with its rankings.
Glastris was critical of other national hospital rankings which he said favor prestigious hospitals by weighing patient outcomes but failing to consider how they serve poor and underserved communities.
"There aren't metrics out there like this," he said. "I would say to these other hospitals, try to be more like JPS."