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Best Hospitals: Houston institution slips (just barely) in latest U.S. News rankings

News-MD Anderson Cancer Center
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center slipped to No. 2 on the U.S. News & World Report rankings of cancer hospitals. Courtesy of M.D. Anderson
Houston Methodist Hospital with nurses and doctors in surgery
Houston Methodist remains the No. 1 ranked hospital in the state, according to the U.S. News rankings.
Great Gatsby" sanitarium The Menninger Clinic exterior
The Menninger Clinic remains the nation's No. 5 ranked psychiatric hospital, according to the U.S. News rankings. Photo courtesy of The Menninger Clinic
News-MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston Methodist Hospital with nurses and doctors in surgery
Great Gatsby" sanitarium The Menninger Clinic exterior

By the slimmest of margins, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has slipped to No. 2 among the nation's premier cancer hospitals in the latest U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Hospitals, released Tuesday.

Anderson, which has been on top of the list for the past seven years and 10 out of the last 12, trailed New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by one-tenth of a point in the 2014-15 rankings. Anderson has a 99.9 score, just below Sloan Kettering's 100.

In a statement, M.D. Anderson President Dr. Ron DePinho put a positive spin on the rankings, noting the two cancer cancers have often traded the top spots over the years. "I'm very proud of our perennial national ranking as one of the top two cancer centers for the past 25 years," he said.

While the list is criticized by some medical experts, who question the methodology and the idea of pitting hospitals against one another like a sports competition, the results are widely touted by those institutions who come out well. Houston Methodist took out a lavish four-page ad that covered the front section of Tuesday's Houston Chronicle to tout its ranking as the best hospital in the state and the Houston area.

Among other ranked Houston hospitals, TIRR- Memorial Hermann remains in the No. 3 position on the list of the nation's best rehabilitation hospitals while The Menninger Clinic remains ranks No. 5 nationally among psychiatric hospitals. The Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital dropped to No. 14 among heart-care providers (from No. 10 last year) while the Houston Methodist Debakey Heart & Vascular Center fell four spots to No. 18 in cardiology and heart surgery.

A full list of the best hospitals in the Houston area, including the 16 institutions deemed tops in the region, is on the U.S. News website.

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