Is Inova the Best Regional Hospital System in America? How about Virginia’s Others?

Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

by James C. Sherlock

Answer: Inova is at least in the mix for that title.

Fewer than 14% of the hospitals in the country have 5-star quality ratings from Medicare. Another 29% are rated 4-stars.

Inova operates five hospitals. Three of them are rated 5-stars (of 9 in the state) and two 4-stars by Medicare.

Inova has an exemplary board structure and members. Which matters. A lot. Management at the headquarters and at each hospital reflects that board oversight.

We are lucky to have them.

All state acute care and critical access hospitals are in this spreadsheet. We will look at Virginia high performers.

Best Multi-Hospital Systems.  In order of system quality performance

  1. Inova
  2. Sentara
  3. Riverside
  4. HCA

Five-star hospitals. It is notable that two of Virginia’s seven critical access hospitals were awarded 5 stars for quality. Great work there. Inova’s three and Sentara’s two were notable.

  • Carilion Giles Community Hospital (Critical Access)
  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
  • Inova Loudoun Hospital
  • Inova Mount Vernon Hospital
  • LewisGale Hospital Alleghany
  • Riverside Doctors’ Hospital of Williamsburg
  • Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
  • Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
  • Smyth County Community Hospital (Critical Access)

Four-Star Hospitals. Virginia has 27 4-star hospitals. So 36 out of 81 (44%) of Virginia acute care and critical access hospitals are 5- or 4-star. Nationwide, 39% are. The four-star hospitals (*=independent):

  • Augusta Health*
  • Bon Secours St Francis Medical Center
  • Bon Secours St Marys Hospital
  • Centra Southside Community Hospital, Inc
  • Chesapeake General Hospital*
  • Cjw Medical Center (HCA)
  • Henrico Doctors’ Hospital (HCA)
  • Inova Alexandria Hospital
  • Inova Fairfax Hospital
  • John Randolph Medical Center (HCA)
  • LewisGale Hospital Montgomery (HCA)
  • Mary Immaculate Hospital (Bon Secours)
  • Novant Prince William Medical Center
  • Reston Hospital Center (HCA)
  • Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital
  • Riverside Walter Reed Hospital
  • Sentara Careplex Hospital
  • Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital
  • Sentara Leigh Hospital
  • Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
  • Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
  • Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
  • Sentara Rmh Medical Center
  • Shenandoah Memorial Hospital (Valley Health)
  • Stafford Hospital, LLC (Mary Washington)
  • University of Virginia Medical Center*
  • Virginia Hospital Center*

Inova Fairfax Campus. Inova’s flagship Fairfax Hospital is rated four stars even in the midst of transitioning during COVID in partnership with the University of Virginia Medical School to a more complete teaching and research facility, which will let it offer the most advanced treatments through participation in trials.

It is also rated as one of the top regional hospitals in America by U.S. News in a remarkable 23 types of care and has been a Leapfrog patient safety hospital with straight A’s five years in a row.

The Fairfax campus includes Inova Fairfax Hospital, Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Inova Neurosciences Institute, Inova Children’s Hospital and Inova Women’s Hospital.

The campus is also home to Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and offers organ transplant programs for Heart, Lung, Kidney and Pancreas. It is the site of the UVA School of Medicine Inova Campus and the VCU School of Pharmacy Inova Campus.

HCA. HCA provides four trauma centers, two in Richmond, one in Reston and one in Blacksburg. All four hospitals are rated four stars.

Sentara Leigh. Ranked the #2 teaching hospital in America 2021 by Fortune/IBM Watson Health. I can personally vouch for the quality of that facility. They train interns and residents from EVMS.

Sentara RHM (Harrisonburg) #9 and Reston Hospital Center #17. Top 20 Medium Community Hospitals 2021 Fortune/IBM Watson Health.

Riverside Shore Memorial. Special “well done.” In Onancock, way up on the Eastern Shore, this hospital holds a 4-star quality rating and is the state’s only 5-star patient survey rating.

Systems that run critical access hospitals. Thanks to Ballad (2), Bon Secours, Carilion (2), Valley health (2) and independent Bath County Community.

Ballad. Operating in the Appalachian region of Virginia and Tennessee and doing a good job with a tough hand. Achieved 5-star quality with Smyth County Community Hospital.

Regional quality

  • the Southwest is better served than you may think except for Carilion’s issues.
  • The Northwest is mixed, with some big, high quality hospitals and some smaller ones that need improvement.
  • Northern Virginia, led by Inova, is great.
  • Eastern Virginia has Sentara and Riverside.
  • Central Virginia has no five-star hospitals, but HCA and Bon Secours provide a total of seven 4 stars.  Charlottesville has UVa Medical Center, the state’s highest ranked .

Bottom line. We are well served as a state. Inova is a star.