The Washington region can finally boast its first five-star-rated hospitals — or, to be exact, its first three — in Inova Fairfax, Inova Mount Vernon and Inova Fair Oaks hospitals, according to the federal Hospital Compare website.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-run website, designed to help consumers compare hospital quality based on measures including patient satisfaction, readmission rates and mortality rates, was updated in late December. That update came after a five-month delay by the federal government because of concerns over some of the quality measures.

It’s a notable swing for the region, which previously had no five-star hospitals on the rating system. Inova Fairfax, the largest hospital in Northern Virginia, previously had a three-star rating.

The changes can be pegged to CMS’ new rating methodology, aimed in part at addressing concerns by health care groups that the system was oversimplified. For example, some complained the previous methodology overpenalized hospitals that served higher numbers of low-income patients for having higher readmission rates, Health Leaders Media reported.

Before the update, the region’s highest-ranked hospital counted four stars, including the independently owned Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.

(WBJ)