Sarasota Memorial Hospital earns perfect 10 in ‘U.S. News’ study, making it one of just 37 ‘standout’ hospitals

Of more than 4,000 hospitals evaluated in the Best Hospitals ratings, less than 1% received the top rating across the board

The Sarasota Memorial complex is on U.S. 41 in Sarasota. Photo courtesy Sarasota Memorial Health Care

U.S. News & World Report has named Sarasota Memorial Hospital among 37 “standout” hospitals with top ratings for all 10 chronic condition treatments and medical procedures evaluated in its Best Hospitals guide this year, Sarasota Memorial (SMH) has announced.

As in previous years, SMH ranked No. 1 in the Sarasota-Bradenton-North Port region, and it was among the Top 10 in Florida, a news release points out.

“But it was its high performance in caring for Medicare patients that earned SMH a special designation as a national ‘standout’ hospital,” the release says. Less than 1% of the more than 4,000 hospitals reviewed earned the top, “high performer” ratings in all 10 areas U.S. News evaluated in 2020-21, the release adds. Those areas of treatment and procedures evaluated follow:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Heart failure.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
  • Aortic valve surgery.
  • Colon cancer surgery.
  • Heart bypass surgery.
  • Hip replacement.
  • Knee replacement.
  • Lung cancer surgery.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder attributes the consistently high ratings to the hospital staff’s longstanding public mission, the release notes.

“I cannot recognize our physicians, nurses, leadership team and entire staff enough for their commitment to this community and the care they provide to our patients each and every day,” Verinder said in the release. “Their efforts have been truly heroic during this pandemic, and it is that unwavering diligence and dedication that will always set Sarasota Memorial apart,” he added in the release.

Now in their 31st year, the annual Best Hospitals rankings and ratings are based largely on objective measures, such as survival and complication rates, volume, and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators, the release explains. In recent years, U.S. News began rating hospitals on their performance handling more common conditions and commonly required individual procedures, such as heart failure and hip replacements, rather than on broad specialties such as orthopedics and cardiology, the release adds. “Hospitals that treated enough patients to be evaluated are rated high performing, average or below average in each procedure or condition.”

“The goal is to evaluate how well hospitals perform in each procedure or condition and not just with the most difficult cases, as with the specialty rankings, but with the full range of patients,” the 2020-21 report states.

This year, U.S. News added a new cardiac rating that measures the quality of hospitals’ transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) programs, the release says. “Developed in recent years, TAVR is rapidly being adopted as a minimally invasive alternative to aortic valve surgery,” the release points out. (For information and a patient video about the TAVR program at SMH, visit

Although the data used in the 2020-21 rankings predate the COVID-19 outbreak, and rankings were not affected by the pandemic’s impact on hospitals, “this year’s report spotlights herculean efforts by health professionals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis,” the release notes.

“No hospital’s clinical team came through this unprecedented health crisis unscathed,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News, in the release. “The pandemic has altered, perhaps permanently, how patients get care and from whom they get it. Amid the disruption, we are steadfastly committed to providing the public with authoritative data for comparing hospital quality.”

For more information about the 2020-21 U.S. News rankings and standout hospitals, visit