07/15/2014 07:06 am ET Updated Jul 15, 2014

America's Best Hospital Is...

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Some hospitals are more expert than others in caring for patients with life-threatening or rare conditions. And people facing such health challenges need every bit of help they can get. That's why U.S. News & World Report has published annual rankings of the nation's Best Hospitals for the last quarter-century.

[See the Complete Rankings: Best Hospitals 2014-15.]

The 2014-15 rankings cover nearly 5,000 medical centers across the country and span 16 medical specialties from cancer to urology. Hospitals with very high scores in at least six specialties earned a spot on the Honor Roll. Just 17 hospitals made this year's list.

[See Pictures of the 17 Honor Roll Hospitals.]

For the first time, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, claimed the No. 1 Honor Roll spot, barely edging out Massachusetts General Hospital. Johns Hopkins Hospital, which in 2012 lost a 21-year first-place reign, was No. 3.

The 2014-15 Honor Roll:

U.S. News Best Hospitals 2014-15

More from U.S. News: Advice for Hospital Patients:
FAQ: How We Ranked the Best Hospitals 2014-15
12 Questions to Ask Before Discharge
You’ve Been Discharged. Now What?
How to Read Your Hospital Bill