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Johns Hopkins Bayview and University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown among most ‘socially responsible’ hospitals, health care think tank says

Two Baltimore hospitals — Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus — have been ranked among the top 10 most “socially responsible” health centers in the U.S. by a health care think tank and consulting organization.

The ranking, released Tuesday by the Lown Institute, a Massachusetts-based think tank, placed Hopkins Bayview as the third most socially responsible hospital and UMMC Midtown as the fifth. The institute, which said it is dedicated to helping develop “a just and caring system for health,” launched the ranking to highlight the importance of health equity, calling it the missing piece for many elite hospitals.

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The institute defined social responsibility as centering on financial value, outcomes and health equity, or the attempt to mitigate racial and ethnic disparities in medical care, employment and outreach.

Of the top hospitals listed in the 2021-2022 U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals” ranking, none received top scores in all three categories. Johns Hopkins Hospital, which scored fourth on the well-known U.S. News Honor Roll, scored “A” grades in value and outcomes and a “B” in equity, the only hospital on U.S. News’ Honor Roll list to score above a “C” in the equity category.

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Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked 147th on the Lown Institute’s social responsibility index, the best-performing of the hospitals on the U.S. News Honor Roll of the nation’s 20 “Best Hospitals.”

Meanwhile, Hopkins Bayview and UMMC Midtown scored “A” grades in all three categories, though they did score lower in individual subcategories such as pay equity, patient satisfaction and avoiding overuse.

“It’s not enough for hospitals to say they’re committed to social responsibility,” said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, about the organization’s ranking system. “They need to put their commitment into action.”

In all, the organization assessed more than 3,000 hospitals.

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Teaching hospitals located in cities account for many of the top medical facilities on the social responsibility index, and nonprofit hospitals account for eight of the top 10, according to Tuesday’s release.

Hopkins Bayview and UMMC Midtown also were ranked as the top two most socially responsible hospitals in the state of Maryland overall.

Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, said the hospital network’s 10 hospitals represented in the Lown Institute ranking is a testament to the organization’s strength as a health care provider.

“We know that our hospitals and medical centers are anchor institutions, and every person working within our System understands and embraces the role we play in local communities,” Suntha said in a statement. “Across Maryland, we are engaged in purposeful efforts to help address issues like food insecurity, economic instability, equitable access to care and a number of other social determinants of health that can have an impact on the communities we serve.”

Representatives from Johns Hopkins Medicine did not respond Tuesday afternoon to a request for comment.

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