Medicare announced a new tool enabling consumers to compare hospitals and the quality of care based on patient reviews via a star rating system. More than 3,500 hospitals across the country will be ranked from 1 to 5 stars.

Click here to go to the hospital comparison tool

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, the ratings are based on data from a survey conducted by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems that began in 2006.  The survey reviews 11 topics including nurse and doctor communication with patients, how well patient needs are handled, and facility cleanliness.

Medicare advises that you should consider multiple factors when choosing a hospital to go to and that if a facility has a poor rating, it does not mean you will have a poor experience at that hospital.