Majority of VA health care facilities receive 4 or 5 stars in CMS quality ratings, outperforming non-VA facilities

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that 67% of VA hospitals included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annual Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings 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 uses 5 categories — mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care — to award a quality rating for each hospital. 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,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “That’s what we strive for in every hospital across the nation, and we will never settle for anything less.” 

“Our job at VA is to deliver the best possible care to every Veteran who walks through our doors,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “While we’re very proud of these findings, there is still work to do. We will study these results, learn from them, and continue to improve until we’re delivering world-class care to every Veteran, every time.”

The Star Ratings are posted on Care Compare, a website “designed for consumers to use along with their healthcare provider to make decisions on where to receive care.” More information on the methodology of the Star Ratings can be found here.

According to CMS, the Star 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.

These star ratings are based on data collected between July 2018 and March 2022. To view the star ratings for your local VA or non-VA hospital.

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