What does it take for a hospital to be one of the nation's fifty best? Consistent, outstanding patient care and a deep commitment to clinical excellence. Out of 5,000 hospitals in the nation, only fifty are recognized each year as HealthGrades America's 50 Best Hospitals — the organization's highest distinction. To identify this elite group of top-performers, HealthGrades' researchers analyzed roughly 100 million Medicare patient records over an eight-year time period. As with all HealthGrades awards, America's 50 Best are based on patient outcomes — risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates for patients at nearly every hospital in the nation. Hospitals cannot apply for this prestigious distinction, and they cannot opt-in or opt-out of being rated. To be listed among America's 50 Best Hospitals, facilities must demonstrate clinical outcomes among the top five percent in the nation, not just in one medical specialty, but across 26 different procedures and diagnoses, and must have maintained this superior level of care for the past six years.