VA hospitals outperform peers in care quality, study finds

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals often demonstrate higher care quality ratings on Hospital Compare than non-VA hospitals in the same market, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed care quality data from Hospital Compare for 135 VA hospitals and 2,988 non-VA hospitals across 121 regional healthcare markets.

The VA hospitals consistently demonstrated better performance on every quality measure than their peers in all 121 markets. For nine of 15 quality measures assessed, the VA facilities offered the best care in the region.

"Assuming the measures are calculated in a fair and comparable way, our findings suggest that, for these measures, VA quality is at least as good as non-VA quality and often better," study co-author William Weeks, MD, PhD, a researcher at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, N.H., told Reuters.

Researchers noted the study does have some limitations, but said the findings suggest outsourcing veterans' healthcare to non-VA facilities should be reconsidered.

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