Asked Questions

What Do The Stars Mean?

5-stars - Best

4-stars - Better Than Average

3-stars - Average

2-stars - Worse Than Average

1-star - Worst

What is the purpose of

The Service is an informational and educational resource for consumers and Hospitals. Information about Hospitals is intended for general reference purposes only. The Service is a consumer-oriented service that can help consumers make informed decisions about their health care. The Star Ratings include quality measures for the routine care an individual receives when being treated for heart attacks and pneumonia to quality measures that focus on hospital-acquired infections and hospital-acquired complications.  

Are the Star Ratings recommendations to utilize any hospital? 

The Service makes no representations or warranties expressed or implied, and the Star Ratings and rankings are statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to utilize any Hospital. Note that the Service does not recommend or endorse any Hospitals. 

How can I use the overall hospital quality star rating?

In an emergency, you should go to the nearest hospital. When you are able to plan ahead, the overall hospital star rating can provide a starting point for comparing a hospital to others locally and nationwide. Along with the overall hospital quality star rating, the Service includes information on many important aspects of hospitalization like hospital timeliness, rates of infections, complications, readmissions, and deaths.

Choosing a hospital is a complex and personal decision that reflects individual needs and preferences. You should consider a variety of factors when choosing a hospital, like physician guidance about your care plan and other sources of information about hospitals in your area.

Discuss the information you find on the Service with your physician or health care provider to decide which hospital best meets your health care needs.

How are hospitals Star Ratings displayed?

The Service displays Hospitals Star Ratings after sorting first by ranking with the highest Star Ratings at the top of the page. Where there is a tie, the Service sorts and displays these alphabetically.

Can hospitals pay for high Star Ratings? 

Hospitals cannot pay for high Star Ratings and does not receive any additional fees from hospitals for higher or better placement on lists through the Service. 

Can hospitals pay to remove low Star Ratings? 

Hospitals cannot pay to have low Star Ratings removed from our site. Under First Amendment rights, consumer speech is protected under the law, even when it's negative. 

Do hospitals get better Star Ratings when they partner with Software Tools?

SafeCareSoft tools allow hospitals to improve hospital quality through hospital dashboards that give health providers additional information regarding practice patterns that are outliers or that are outside recommended standards of care. Metrics measured by SafeCareSoft dashboards are the same utilized by and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Hospital Value Based Program, Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, and Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, Only through quality improvement can hospitals improve Star Ratings. 

Can I share hospital profiles found on 

The use of data found on the Service is governed by our Terms and posted Privacy Policy. You may print out a copy of a hospital profile but you may not electronically send it. If you wish to reproduce, cite, publish and/or distribute any information from the site for any purpose, please contact us. allows you to share profiles by emailing links to the profile to outside parties. 

How are Star Ratings different?  

To produce a meaningful ranking of US hospitals, The SafeCare Group® utilized a comprehensive framework for the 100 SafeCare Hospitals®. The distinguished medical and legal experts who designed, developed, and implemented The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 believed that a listing of hospital performance in the areas of Hospital timeliness, infections, complications, readmissions, and deaths would promote strong incentives to improve health care.  

Where the hospital information came from? 

The information that we compile is a matter of public record on both state and national level. Unless otherwise noted, all data used to produce the Star Ratings, “100 SafeCare Hospitals”, Top 1% Hospitals”, and “Top 2% Hospitals selection were available from public sources, primarily the U.S. government’s release of data. These data allow the Service to compare the quality of care at over 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals across the country.  

How are the Star Ratings derived? 

The Service selected, compiled, arranged and adjusted data and information regarding Hospitals and the listings are original compilations (as defined by the 1976 Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101) containing material wholly and exclusively original to 100 SafeCare Hospitals. Unless otherwise noted, all data used to produce the 100 SafeCare Hospitals Star Ratings and rankings were available from public sources, primarily the U.S. government’s release of data. All available and latest data were included; no statistical sampling was employed. Such information can change frequently and may become out of date, incomplete or inaccurate.  

How does handle “lack of hospital data”? 

Hospitals with insufficient or no domain data to calculate an overall score (Hospitals missing data for timeliness, infections, complications, readmissions, and deaths) carry no overall Star Rating, and are represented by "Not Rated", even though individual domain Star Rating(s) may be present. 

How do I update information on a hospital profile? 

If you notice information on a hospital's profile that you believe is incorrect, please let us know by using our online form.  

Can a hospital sue for low Star Ratings? 

It's certainly worth discussing your concerns with a lawyer who specializes in internet law, but any good lawyer will likely tell you that: 

  • Consumer speech is protected under the law, even when it's negative 
  • Suing 100 SafeCare Hospitals will only draw more attention to the low ratings than if you simply ignored it; 
  • Lawsuits are extraordinarily expensive, and you may be responsible for 100 SafeCare Hospital’s legal bills at the end of the case. 

Think twice about suing. The Communications Decency Act (the “CDA”) is a complete bar to our liability for the statements of others on this website: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." 47 U.S.C. § 230. Federal courts have applied this standard on its terms: "By its plain language, Section 230 creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information originating with a third-party user of the service." Zeran v. AOL, 129 F.3d 327, 330 (4th Cir. 1997).  

The data utilized on this site were provided by another information content provider, primarily the U.S. government's datasets found in the public domain. Thus, under the CDA, we are not the "publisher or speaker" of the data utilized for the Star Ratings, even if they contain false information and we are not liable for defamation, libel, fraud or any other tort claim you might bring. 

It would be a waste of money on a frivolous lawsuit disputing the free speech rights of a private, independent corporation, as resources would be better spent on initiatives to improve patient outcomes. 440,000 patients die annually from preventable hospital mistakes, hospital acquired infections, and hospital acquired complications, and saving those lives should be the top priority of every hospital.