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New Report Ranks Piedmont Athens among Georgia’s Top Hospitals

Athens, Ga. (July 15, 2020) – Results from a new report that assess the quality, value and civic leadership in Georgia hospitals recently ranked Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center in its top 10 list of all Georgia hospitals.

The results of the report, called The Lown Hospital Institute Index, allow people to compare hospitals based on location, hospital type and metric or ranking. Piedmont Athens Regional, which landed the No. 3 spot on the Institute’s list of Georgia hospitals, was the only hospital in the Athens area recognized for its high marks.

“We are very proud to be recognized as a top 10 hospital in Georgia by the Lown Institute,” said Michael Burnett, chief executive officer (CEO) of Piedmont Athens Regional. “Our hospital’s mission is to provide high-quality, patient-centered healthcare, and the safety of our patients is our top priority. We also aim to serve as an economic engine and supporter of the Athens-Clarke and surrounding communities that we serve. This top recognition demonstrates our team’s commitment to improving the lives of those in our community.”

The Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass.-based nonpartisan think tank, used new measures for its Lown Institute Hospitals Index to help hospitals better serve and support their communities. The Index shows how nearly 3,300 hospitals nationwide compare on 42 performance indicators. The institute’s new measures then fall under three categories:

  • Civic Leadership, which assesses a commitment to equity, inclusion and community health;
  • Value of Care, which measures use of unnecessary services; and
  • Patient Outcomes, which evaluates patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction.

“No other hospital ranking provides a 360-degree view of hospital performance,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president at the Lown Institute, in a recent announcement. “Many of the best-known hospitals score highly on patient outcomes but poorly on civic leadership and value of care. Our data show that it’s possible to do well in all three categories, because some hospitals are doing it. That means all the people in their communities are being served effectively and fairly.”

“Piedmont Athens Regional exists to make a positive difference in every life we touch,” said Burnett. “The only way we can deliver on that promise is to make sure that we are a place where all are welcome.”

Additionally, safety is one of Piedmont Athens Regional’s top priorities. Since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital has taken a series of steps and implemented a number of new processes, including a new visitor policy, a mask requirement and utilization of telemedicine, to ensure a safe environment for patients and employees.

“At a time when communities are relying on them like never before, hospitals must rethink what it means to be great,” said Vikas Saini, M.D., president of the Lown Institute, in a recent announcement. “COVID-19 highlights how hospitals are essential community partners for anyone in need. To be great, however, a hospital cannot only provide care that’s high in quality. It must also deliver value and advance equality. Our index is designed to help them do just that.”

The institute’s index uses data from a wide variety of sources, including the 100 percent Medicare claims datasets (MEDPAR and outpatient); Internal Revenue Service pulled from Community Benefit Insight database; Healthcare Cost Report Information System administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Securities and Exchange Commission filings; public records; Bureau of Labor Statistics; and other databases.

For the Lown Index’s full results, visit

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