Truven Health Analytics Announces 2015 Top Health Systems

15 Highest-Performing Hospital Systems Achieved Higher Survival Rates, Made Fewer Errors — all at a 7 Percent Lower Cost per Episode Than Their Peers

ANN ARBOR, Mich.--()--Truven Health AnalyticsTM, a leading provider of healthcare data and analytics solutions and services, today released its seventh annual study identifying the top U.S. health systems based on balanced, system wide clinical and administrative performance. The results reflect the relentless focus of health system leadership on improving the value and reliability provided to the communities they serve.

The Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems study analyzed data from 340 health systems and 2,812 member hospitals to identify 15 hospital systems that achieved superior performance based on a composite score of nine measures of care quality, patient perception of care, cost per episode of illness and operational efficiency.

The only study of its kind to aggregate rigorous analysis of individual hospital performance metrics into system-level data, the Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems study provides hospital administrators and boards of directors with crucial, evidence-based insights into the effectiveness of health system leadership, organizational performance and management alignment. The study is part of the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® program, the national standard for objective hospital quality evaluation.

"Despite the headwinds of a slowly improving national economy, increased consolidation and a new set of rules imposed by reform, this year’s 15 Top Health Systems have delivered higher quality and become more efficient. These leadership teams are transforming their systems more rapidly than their peers, and they are proving that it is possible to do more with lower reimbursements,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Truven Health Analytics. "The common trait among all top performers in our study is their ability to inspire collaboration and align best practices across their organizations. Management excellence has proven to be the key to reliable cost and quality improvement.”

Evaluating Top Heath System Performance

Among the key findings in this year’s study, winning health systems achieved higher survival rates and fewer errors at a lower overall treatment cost than non-winning health systems. The research also found that individual hospitals that are part of larger health systems are 61 percent more likely to be named 100 Top Hospitals study winners than those that are not part of a multi-hospital system. Geographically, Minnesota and Indiana had the highest concentration of top health systems, with two each.

Specific winning health system performance metrics include:

  • Lower Cost per Episode: The winning 15 top health systems spent 7 percent less per care episode than non-winning peer systems.
  • Better Survival Rates: The winning systems also experienced 1.2 percent fewer deaths than non-winning peer systems.
  • Fewer Complications: Patients of the winning health systems had 5 percent fewer complications than patients in other systems.
  • Better Patient Safety and Core Measures Adherence: The top health systems had 10.9 percent better patient safety performance and better adherence to core measures of care than their peers.

“Superior health system leadership has become the fundamental impetus for success in the post-reform healthcare environment,” said Mike Boswood, Truven Health Analytics president and CEO. “By outperforming their peers across a wide range of key clinical and administrative performance measures, the leaders of the 15 Top Health Systems have shown that it is possible to consistently deliver higher quality care at a better value. It is an honor to recognize the efforts of these leadership teams.”

The study divides the top health systems into three comparison groups based on total operating expense of the member hospitals. The 2015 winners are as follows:

Large Health Systems (more than $1.5 billion in total operating expense)

Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN

Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN

OhioHealth, Columbus, OH

Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI

St. Vincent Health, Indianapolis, IN

Medium Health Systems ($750 million – $1.5 billion in total operating expense)

Alegent Creighton Health1, Omaha, NE

Exempla Healthcare2, Denver CO

Mercy Health Southwest Ohio Region, Cincinnati, OH

Mission Health, Asheville, NC

St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, ID

Small Health Systems (less than $750 million in total operating expense)

Asante, Medford, OR

Maury Regional Healthcare System, Columbia, TN

Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, SC

Saint Joseph Regional Health System, Mishawaka, IN

Tanner Health System, Carrollton, GA

To see a list of previous winners, please visit

15 Top Health Systems Methodology

U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, nonfederal hospitals; cardiac, orthopedic and women’s hospitals; and critical access hospitals were assessed in the study. Researchers looked at nine metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate, adherence to clinical standards of care (evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS), Medicare spend per beneficiary and HCAHPS patient survey score. HCAHPS stands for the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, a part of a national initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to measure the quality of care in hospitals.

The study relied on public data from the 2012 and 2013 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare datasets.

Researchers from the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals program have analyzed and reported on the performance of individual hospitals since 1993.

New Health System Performance Measures

Truven Health has introduced a number of new performance measures to this year’s study, which are currently being evaluated for inclusion in future installments of the 15 Top Health Systems study. These include emergency department (ED) efficiency, 30-day readmission rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and stroke, operating margin and long-term debt-to-capitalization ratio.

About the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® Program

Since 1993, the annual Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals program has used independent and objective data and research to identify the best hospitals in the nation, and guide hospital and health system performance. Organizations do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their honor. Award-winning hospitals and health systems provide an example for other organizations to follow across the industry, demonstrating top performance in both clinical and operational performance measures.

Recognized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a national standard for objective hospital quality evaluation, the 100 Top Hospitals program has been used to validate the performance of the organization’s annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.

100 Top Hospitals is a registered trademark of Truven Health Analytics. Visit for more information.

About Truven Health Analytics

Truven Health Analytics delivers the answers that clients need to improve healthcare quality and access while reducing costs. We provide market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics, and domain expertise. For more than 30 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies, and policymakers the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan, 100 Top Hospitals, Advantage Suite, Micromedex, Simpler, ActionOI, Heartbeat Experts and JWA. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; and Denver. For more information, please visit

1 Now part of CHI

2 Now part of SCL Health -more-


J. Roderick, Inc. For Truven Health
Brian Erni, 631-584-2200
To Learn More or Request a 15 Top Health Systems Report:
Truven Health Analytics
Christine Tankersley, 919-864-0582

Release Summary

Truven Health Analytics Announces 2015 Top Health Systems -- Achieved Higher Survival Rates, Made Fewer Errors — all at a 7 Percent Lower Cost per Episode Than Their Peers


J. Roderick, Inc. For Truven Health
Brian Erni, 631-584-2200
To Learn More or Request a 15 Top Health Systems Report:
Truven Health Analytics
Christine Tankersley, 919-864-0582