VA medical centers are now included in the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) , which measures hospital quality based on outcomes of care.
“VA is committed to providing veterans and their family members with a transparent accounting of the quality and safety of its health care system,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.
VA first began making outcomes data available to the public in 2010 when it posted mortality and readmission results on the VA Hospital Compare Web site (www.hospitalcompare.va.gov) using a similar method limited to only VA patients. VA results posted on VA’s site are updated quarterly and will not match the results on CMS Hospital Compare, which are only updated annually and lag about year.
Through its website, CMS reports 30-day measures for three common, high-cost conditions: acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia. Results of VA medical centers’ risk-adjusted mortality and readmission will also be made available on the site.
The Medicare site allows visitors to select up to three hospitals in a particular area and compare them using a variety of measures, including patient satisfaction, process of care, care outcomes, and use of medical imaging. For example, under process of care, visitors to the site can see the percentage of patients who were given the right kind of antibiotic to help prevent infection, or which heart attack patients were given aspirin at arrival and discharge. And under care outcomes visitors can see how the hospital’s mortality and readmission rates compare to the national rate.
The site also includes data from the 27-question Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). Visitors can see what percentage of patients reported that their nurses communicated well, or who were adequately taught about their medications before being prescribed them.
However, VA hospitals are currently not included in the HCAHPS survey, and a search for VA survey data on the CMS site come up as “Not Available.”