VA hos­pi­tal rank­ings: Worst still the worst

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

WASH­ING­TON - Many of the worst VA hos­pi­tals in the coun­try last year re­main among the worst this year, ac­cord­ing to in­ter­nal rank­ings re­leased Wed­nes­day by the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs.

Nearly a dozen of the med­i­cal cen­ters who re­ceived one out of five stars in qual­ity rat­ings this year re­ceived the same low score in 2016.

They in­clude three vet­er­ans’ hos­pi­tals in Ten­nessee — in Nashville, Murfrees­boro, and Mem­phis, where threats to pa­tient safety have sky­rock­eted in re­cent years. Also among them is the Phoenix VA, where vet­er­ans died wait­ing for care touch­ing off a na­tional scandal in 2014.

Two hos­pi­tals in Texas — in El Paso and Big Spring — and two in Cal­i­for­nia — in Loma Linda and Fresno — also made the list of two-time, one-star fa­cil­i­ties.

At the same time two hos­pi­tals man­aged to shake their one-star sta­tus. Fa­cil­i­ties in Detroit and Fayet­teville, N.C., im­proved to two-star VA hos­pi­tals.

The VA reg­u­larly scores 146 of its med­i­cal cen­ters based on dozens of qual­ity fac­tors, in­clud­ing death and in­fec­tion rates, in­stances of avoid­able com­pli­ca­tions and wait times. The agency uses a five-star scale with one be­ing the worst and five be­ing the best.

The rank­ings com­pare VA hos­pi­tals

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