U.S. News & World evaluations are based solely on reputation.

Healio has posed a provocative question about the that U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” ranking for ophthalmology as a specialty: “valid barometer or beauty contest? “Ophthalmology is one of the four specialties judged by reputation only … by a limited number of board-certified ophthalmologists.” By excluding objective clinical or outcomes data, some doubt the validity of the rankings, which can translate to “significant increase in philanthropic contributions by donors,” says Eduardo C. Alfonso, MD, chairman of the top-ranked Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Although Alfonso believes the ranking of his facility is appropriate, he’d like to see “some objective criteria that can be statistically validated.”

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