Consumer Reports, Yonkers, NY, now provides patient satisfaction ratings for more than 3,400 hospitals across the United States. The ratings will be available to subscribers of

According to Consumer Reports, the new ratings demonstrate substantial differences in quality of care across the country, including a link between patient satisfaction and intensity of care.

"Intensity of care is a critical part of the equation for consumers because it has many implications—if you land in a hospital that is aggressive, that will mean frequent diagnostic tests and doctor visits, more reliance on specialists instead of primary-care doctors, prolonged hospital stays, more days in the ICU, and higher out-of-pocket expenditures, without necessarily improving outcomes," said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

The online ratings are based on patient surveys collected by the federal government’s Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS). Statisticians and health experts analyzed the government data to develop the Consumer Reports ratings.