VA hospitals outperform others in patient care, analysis finds
(VA photo)

VA hospitals outperform others in patient care, analysis finds

VA hospitals outperform non-VA hospitals by a wide margin, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annual Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings released July 26.

There were 67% of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals included in the CMS report that received either 4 or 5 stars, compared to only 41% of non-VA hospitals. This was the first time VA hospitals were included in the CMS Star Ratings.

The CMS report focuses on five categories: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care. The more stars out of 5, the better a hospital performed on the available quality measures.

These findings are the latest in a series of recent evaluations showing the effectiveness of VA health care compared to non-VA health care. VA hospitals outperformed non-VA hospitals on all 10 core patient satisfaction metrics in the recent Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Star Ratings, and a recent systematic review of more than 40 peer-reviewed studies found that VA health care is consistently as good as — or better than — non-VA health care.

“Whenever a veteran entrusts us with their care, they deserve to know that they’re getting the very best,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said. “That’s what we strive for in every hospital across the nation, and we will never settle for anything less.” 

According to CMS, the rating is intended for acute care hospitals. CMS excludes all measures specific to specialty hospitals (such as cancer hospitals or inpatient psychiatric facilities), or ambulatory surgical centers prior to applying any measure selection criteria. Based on these criteria, 114 VA facilities received a CMS star rating and 23 were not rated.

The data was collected between July 2018 and March 2022. To view the star ratings for your local VA or non-VA hospital, visit here. More information on the study methodology can be found here.