Veteran Affairs hospital care is just as good, perhaps even better, than health care provided elsewhere, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Researchers from The Rand Corporation came to that conclusion after analyzing the quality of health care provided at 135 VA facilities during 2013 and 2014 and then comparing the data to non-VA facilities with similar characteristics, Health Day reported.
Study lead author Rebecca Anhang Price said the analysis found that “the VA health care system generally provides care that is higher in quality than what is offered elsewhere in communities across the nation.”
There were some variations in the quality of care provided at individual VA hospitals, but as a whole the overall VA health care system was still consistently better than that of non-VA health providers.
Researchers noted that patients getting older and sicker at some VA facilities may have impacted the variations and suggested efforts be made to improve this to ensure veterans receive high-quality care at all facilities.
“The variation among VA health facilities shows that veterans in some areas are not receiving the same high-quality care that other VA facilities are able to provide,” said Carrie Farmer, a study co-author and a senior policy researcher at RAND.
According to the study, VA hospitals scored high in inpatient safety, inpatient mortality and 12 measures of the effectiveness of inpatient care.
And while the VA hospitals performed worse on readmission and effectiveness measures, researchers noted that outpatient care was of better quality than non-VA facilities.
The findings are significant as the VA provides care at 1,240 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,061 outpatient sites, ultimately serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year, according to the administration.
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