Should hospitals pay to promote a U.S. News & World Report award?

Six hospital communicators debate the cost of purchasing a licensing agreement from U.S. News & World Report, and how it does—or does not—affect patients.

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If your hospital was ranked by U.S. News & World Report for a specialty, congratulations.

This is great news for your hospital and staff. The award recognizes a variety of elements at your hospital, including its reputation, talented staff, expertise, and more.

But not so fast. The small gold badge, emblazoned with “Best Hospitals,” comes at a hefty price. If you want to put that badge on any of your marketing materials, you’ll be asked to sign a yearly licensing agreement. Basically, you have to pay to promote the fact you won.

We talked to six hospital communicators, ranging from academic to children’s hospitals, who decided whether to pay for the licensing agreement—and what that means for each hospital.

Some say touting the recognition by U.S. News is worth it.

Cleveland Clinic has a licensing agreement for digital, print, TV, and radio spots with U.S. News.

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