VA Health Care Rated Same or Better than Private Hospitals

Veterans receive the same or better care at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities as patients at non-VA hospitals according to a recent RAND Corp. study.

“The RAND study adds to a growing list of research confirming what many Veterans and VA employees believe – VA provides high-quality care,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We are constantly striving to improve our care at VA, but this should encourage Veterans and the public that VA care is in many instances as good as or better than the private sector.”

The study, which was published online April 25, compared each VA facility to three non-VA facilities with similar geographic settings (rural/urban,) size (number of beds) and complexity of care. The analysis focused on three of the six “Domains of Quality of Care” as defined by the Institute of Medicine, (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) including safety, effectiveness and patient-centered care.

The authors of the RAND study analyzed inpatient and outpatient performance measures used by VA and non-VA hospitals. On inpatient care, VA hospitals performed on average the same or significantly better than non-VA hospitals on 21 of 26 measures. VA performed significantly better than commercial and Medicaid Health Maintenance Organizations on 28 of 30 measures, with no difference on the other two. There was a wide variation in performance across VA, but an even wider variation among the non-VA hospitals.

For more information, see the quality data available on VA’s Access to Care website at www.accesstocare.va.gov.

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