The exterior of Baptist Health Louisville hospital | Photo by Darla Carter

This post has been updated.

U.S. News & World Report has named Baptist Health Louisville the top hospital in metro Louisville, but the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington retains bragging rights as best in the state.

This is the third consecutive year that UK HealthCare’s hospital clinched No. 1 at the state level. Baptist Health Lexington came in second in the state, followed by third-place Baptist Health Louisville.

In addition to its overall ranking, Chandler Hospital received Top 50 national rankings in four specialty areas, including cancer care, where it jumped from 50th to 38th from last year to this year.

“These rankings and recognitions are a testament to the dedication of everyone at UK HealthCare and their commitment to continuously improving quality and service provided to our patients,” Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK HealthCare’s executive vice president for health affairs, said in a news release.

Gerard Colman, CEO of the Baptist Health system, made similar comments.

“This national recognition confirms what our patients tell us – that Baptist Health hospitals provide the very best of care,” Colman said in a separate news release. “These rankings also illustrate the daily commitment of our physicians, nurses and staff to live out our mission of leading in clinical excellence, compassionate care and growth to meet the needs of our patients.”

In Louisville, Norton Hospital on Chestnut Street is ranked No. 2, down from No. 1 the prior year, and Jewish Hospital is ranked No. 3 on the 2018 list.

Around the state, Norton Hospital tied with St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood-Covington Hospitals for No. 4, followed by Jewish.

U.S. News ranks hospitals nationally, as well as on the regional level, and considers things like risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.

U.S. News focuses on hospitals that provide a full range of services rather than specialty hospitals when ranking regionally. Those area hospitals are ranked based on their performance in delivering complex and common care.

“Kentucky has more than 120 hospitals. Six meet high U.S. News standards and are ranked in the state,” U.S. News noted.

In specialties, Baptist Health Louisville did not achieve any national rankings but was deemed “high performing” for seven procedures/conditions, including colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery and hip and knee replacement.

Neither Norton nor Jewish earned a national ranking in any specialty area, but Norton received high-performing for six procedures/conditions and Jewish got that distinction in three areas.

In contrast, Chandler Hospital’s various national rankings include diabetes and endocrinology (33rd);  ear, nose and throat (45th); and orthopedics (45th). It was deemed “high-performing” in five adult specialties, including geriatrics and nephrology, and six adult procedures/conditions, such as heart bypass surgery and hip replacement.

Norton released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that it’s pleased to have performed well in six areas and continues to make quality of care “a top priority” while “publishing over 800 quality indicators” on its website.

Across the river, Baptist Health Floyd earned high performing in chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

U.S. News placed the country’s top 20 hospitals on its Best Hospitals’ Honor Roll. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota nabbed the top spot on that list of hospitals that provide exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care. There are no Kentucky hospitals on the honor roll.

Top Metro Louisville hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  1. Baptist Health Louisville
  2. Norton Hospital
  3. Jewish Hospital (Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital was included in evaluating Jewish’s performance.)

Top hospitals around the state, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  1. University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital
  2. Baptist Health Lexington
  3. Baptist Health Louisville
  4. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood-Covington Hospitals
  5. Norton Hospital
  6. Jewish Hospital

This story has been corrected to note that Gerard Colman is the chief executive of the Baptist Health system, not Baptist Health Louisville.

Darla Carter
Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.