Bob McDonald the head of the Veterans Affairs Administration has got to go, and now! Whatever world of delusion he lives in, and the fact he served in the military, has no bearing on his ineptness in leading the nations largest healthcare system.
What we’re finding out now about the VA, and just when you thought it can’t get any worse, is that for years it had its own internal five-star ranking system used to evaluate its hospitals for quality, service and safety based on a multitude of metrics.
Ok great, I’m all for circling back and checking on how problems were addressed and where corrections can be made to “better” the system. Here’s the problem though, it won’t release these findings to the media for any of the nearly 150 hospitals throughout the country that the ranking system was used on.
According to the VA their SAIL data (Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning) indicates that 82% of VA medical centers (120 of 146) have made improvement between the 4th Quarter of FY2015 and the 3rd quarter of FY2016. Great, awesome, woo-hoo, but not so fast.
What prompted this “sudden” transparency was the USA today conducting an expose piece and maintaining pressure on the VA to release this internal rating system, or what some call accountability. What the VA really did was it shared with USA Today the names of those hospitals that ranked worst and best for the second quarter, which ended on June 30, but declined to identify those with two, three, and four stars.
So there’s no way for members of the public — including patients, members of Congress and others outside the agency who could hold it accountable — to know without all the star ratings whether facilities are improving or getting worse and therein lies the problem.
Ohhh and great, the facility that I get my care at (Phoenix VA) got a one star rating, I guess I’ll drive elsewhere to get my treatment, ohhh wait, I don’t know what those hospitals ratings were so I can’t make an informed decision.
Below are the 10 VA centers or systems that received one-star ratings as of June 30, 2016. Read the full USA Today investigation here.
- Phoenix Healthcare System in Phoenix, Arizona
- Southern Oregon–White City VA Rehabilitation Center & Clinic in White City, Oregon
- Memphis VA Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee
- Tennessee Valley Healthcare System–Nashville VA Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee
- Tennessee Valley Healthcare System–Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- Dallas VA Medical Center in Dallas, Texas
- El Paso VA Medical Center in El Paso, Texas
- VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in Los Angeles, California
- John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan
Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico