Rapides Regional Medical Center has been recognized as a high-performing hospital by U.S. News and World Report for its treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Heart Failure.

This designation is part of U.S. News and World Report's annual Best Hospitals rankings, which evaluate more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. The Best Hospitals methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nursing staff and more.

The annual ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for common conditions and elective procedures. Fewer than a third of all hospitals received any high-performing rating.

"For 30 years, U.S. News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide," said Ben Harder, the publication's managing editor and chief of health analysis. "By providing the most comprehensive data available on nearly every hospital across the United States, we give patients, families and physicians information to support their search for the best care across a range of procedures, conditions and specialties."

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to adequately meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. About 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure, and the condition is a contributing cause in one in nine deaths.

COPD includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other diseases that cause breathing problems. Nearly 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD.