Only 2.2 percent of hospitals evaluated by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services earned the government’s first-ever five-star rating for overall quality and safety.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital are two of just nine California hospitals to earn a five-star rating, and are the only hospitals to rate five stars on the Central Coast.

Only 102 hospitals out of 4,600 in the United States achieved this important patient care distinction. The highest quality level was difficult for most hospitals to obtain, with some states having zero hospitals reach a five-star rating.

The ratings are based on 64 quality measurements for areas such as heart attack care, post-surgical infection rates, pneumonia and low complication rates after surgery.

“We are extremely proud of this national five-star quality rating as it reflects our core value of excellence,” said Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health. “This honor underscores the caliber of the physicians and employees associated with Cottage Health.

“Our community can be extremely confident that they are receiving the highest level of care that is consistent with the very best in the nation.”

CMS announced on July 28 that it updated the star ratings on the Hospital Compare website to help millions of patients and their families learn about the quality of hospitals. The new ratings include the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating that reflects comprehensive quality information about the care provided at our nation’s hospitals. The methodology takes 64 existing quality measures already reported on the Hospital Compare website and summarizes them into a unified rating of one to five stars.

CMS designed the methodology to be inclusive of as many hospitals and as many measures as possible. This approach prevents the methodology from limiting star rating calculations to certain types of hospitals based on characteristic or size.