Marks says that about 70 percent of all hospitals fell into the middle three-star category, 10-15% fell into the five-star category and 10-15% fell into the one-star category, depending on the type of care provided.
Additionally, hospitals may receive awards for special excellence, granted for those conditions for which a hospital received five stars.
A quick glance down a list of all hospitals in one region of the country indicates that most hospitals received at least one award but a few hospitals didn't receive any because they did not score high enough on any particular type of care.
On the other hand, Mayo Clinic Saint Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN received 14 five-star ratings and 12 quality awards.
The Healthgrades report is one of about six major national sources for consumers and providers to compare quality in healthcare. Others include the Leapfrog Group, Consumer Reports, U.S. News & World Report, Truven, and Hospital Compare.