Healthgrades Ranks UAMS in Top 10% of Nation for Brain Surgery; Also Applauds Stroke Program

By Linda Satter

Healthgrades awarded UAMS a 2022 Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award, which recognizes hospitals with superior clinical outcomes in cranial neurosurgery, commonly called brain surgery.

“Achieving this award validates our efforts to make sure that Arkansans have access to the most up-to-date surgical technology and surgical options available for treatment of brain tumors, brain aneurysms, movement disorders and epilepsy,” said John D. Day, M.D., chair of the UAMS Department of Neurosurgery.

“I have made it my mission that UAMS offers the best treatment outcomes in the state and the region for patients with problems requiring brain surgery,” Day said. “This acknowledgment of our success in achieving this goal is very gratifying.”

Healthgrades also honored UAMS as a Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke.

“This five-star recognition of our stroke program is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our UAMS stroke team,” said Sanjeeva Reddy Onteddu, M.D., an associate professor of neurology who is the stroke program’s medical director. “UAMS has a strong commitment to providing the highest level of stroke care available by maintaining the most stringent stroke standards.”

“Having the right people at the right time, the latest technology, resources and extensive training allows us to offer Arkansans the best chance of a good outcome after a stroke,” added Marzella Backus, MNSc, RN, director of the UAMS Stroke program.

Brain surgery and strokes are two of 31 inpatient procedures and conditions on which Healthgrades annually evaluates the performance of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide, using more than 45 million Medicare claims for the most recent three-year period available.

The ratings are independent and impartial. Hospitals can neither opt-in or opt-out, nor can they submit their own data.

Healthgrades has been rating hospitals for 23 years, longer than any other hospital ratings organization. It recognizes a hospital’s quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance and overall clinical quality

“Our scientific and transparent methodology focuses on what matters most to patients: clinical outcomes,” according to Healthgrades. “Our hospital ratings help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance to find the best care.”

From 2018 through 2020, the most recent period for which data is available, patients treated at hospitals receiving the Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award had, on average, a 35.9% lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award, according to Healthgrades.

“We want to provide information to make finding a health care specialist an easier experience for consumers,” said Brad Bowman, M.D., chief medical officer and head of data science for the company. “Patients can feel confident knowing that hospitals that are recognized for their performance in cranial neurosurgery provide high-quality care and superior outcomes.”

“If all hospitals, as a group, performed similarly to five-star rated hospitals, 218,141 lives potentially could have been saved and 156,050 patients potentially could have avoid complications,” according to Healthgrades.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.