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  • Grad from High Risk

     

    Five VA hospitals are set to be removed from a list of 15 poorly performing facilities that are considered high-risk, according to an assessment that is set to be released this week by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a report Tuesday.

    Removing these hospitals from the list would mark an overall improvement in the quality of care that patient's receive at the nation's 146 Veteran hospitals, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    VA officials have recognized that it is important to improve care at the facilities as the VA Mission Act, which President Trump signed in June, will allow Veterans to receive care in the private health sector. The VA Mission Act would also allow VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to refer Veterans to other care centers if VA hospitals fall short on quality standards.

    The five VA hospitals that showed improvement were part of a program which transferred personnel from centers that performed better on the VA quality care rating system to high-risk centers that performed poorly. The program, additionally, funneled resources into these low-rank centers.

    While VA officials mark this as a success for the program, 10 hospitals are poised to remain in the high-risk category. Most VA care centers, however, have recorded improvements in their service quality, which is measured by death rates, complications, patient satisfaction, overall efficiency, and physician capacity under a system called Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning. Only seven have reported declines in care, and only one high-risk facility, located in Washington, D.C., has faced a rate decline.

    VA hospitals have shown continuous improvement in their quality of care standards since SAIL data was publicly released in 2015. Top VA officials and health care analysts attribute the success to increased transparency.

    The VA quality care rating system ranks centers on a scale of one to five stars, one being a center that performs poorly. VA officials expect the five high-risk hospitals to upgrade to two stars. The 10 remaining low-ranking facilities, officials say, are continuing targets for improvement.

    Source

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  • Transition to DHA

     

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Naval Hospital Jacksonville, including its five branch health clinics in Florida and Georgia, will be the first Navy military medical treatment facility (MTF) to transition to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) on Oct. 1, 2018.

    The change in administration will be transparent to patients — service members, family members, and retirees — with little or no immediate effect on their experience of care. For patients, their facility, physicians, and coverage will all remain the same. They will continue to receive the same exceptional level of care and service.

    “Naval Hospital Jacksonville is honored to be selected as the first Navy facility to make this transition,” said Naval Hospital Jacksonville Commanding Officer Navy Capt. Matthew Case. “It’s a testament to our track record as an innovator.”

    To achieve Congress’s requirements in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the DHA will assume administration and management of all MTFs. This transition will increase efficiency by eliminating duplication, and enhancing standardization and consistency across the military services.

    Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s staff of more than 2,300 active duty, civilians, and contractors across six locations stands ready to make this a seamless transition for patients. Where and how patients access care will not change, and they will continue to have full access to care and convenience care options. All phone numbers will remain the same. Additionally, the facilities’ names will not change, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.

    Over time, these reforms will drive better integration and standardization of care across all MTFs, which means patients should have a consistent, high-quality health care experience, no matter where they are.

    While DHA will be responsible for health care delivery and business operations, Navy Medicine will retain principal responsibility for operational readiness of the medical force.

    To complement Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s transition, Navy Medicine is establishing a co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC). Navy Medicine, through the NMRTC, retains command and control of the uniformed medical force, and maintains responsibility and authority for operational readiness. This includes the medical readiness of Sailors and Marines, as well as the clinical readiness of the medical force.

    The Jacksonville NMRTC will improve the ability of Naval Hospital Jacksonville to meet the needs of operational commanders. Survivability of Navy and Marine Corps personnel in the future warfighting environment requires a medical force that’s ready to immediately deploy and save lives.

    Case will serve as both the MTF director under the DHA, and the NMRTC commander under Navy Medicine.

    “This transformation offers an opportunity to enhance what we already do. We ensure the medical readiness of active duty. We take care of patients — active duty, retired, and families. And we partner with private-sector health systems to maintain our clinicians’ advanced life-saving skills,” explained Case.

    Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s priority, since its founding in 1941, is to heal the nation’s heroes and their families. The command is the Navy’s third largest medical treatment facility, comprising a hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 84,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities.

    Source

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  • One Star Rating

     

    WASHINGTON – The number of one-star Veterans Affairs hospitals has dropped from 14 to nine since last year, according to star rankings the VA released Wednesday.

    Five VA hospitals remain at the bottom of the rankings for the third straight year, including in Big Spring and El Paso, Texas; Loma Linda, California; and Phoenix, where a wait-time crisis in 2014 triggered a national scandal.

    Also among the one-star hospitals for the third year in a row is the VA medical center in Memphis, Tennessee, where USA TODAY reported patient safety problems have soared in recent years.

    Overall, 40 VA hospitals dropped one star or more, 68 stayed the same and 38 improved in the rankings. The largest improvement was in Hot Springs, South Dakota, which went from two stars to five.

    “With closer monitoring and increased medical center leadership and support, we have seen solid improvements at most of our facilities,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Even our highest performing facilities are getting better, and that is driving up our quality standards across the country.”

    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 on which one is the worst and five the best.

    The rankings compare VA hospitals against each other, but the number of one-star hospitals is not constant. Medical centers in that bracket can be elevated to two stars based on quality-of-care factors.

    The agency did not start releasing the ratings until USA TODAY obtained and published them for the first time in 2016. The VA then committed to posting them annually.

    The VA also rates 133 agency nursing homes on a one-to-five star scale and kept those ratings from the public until learning this year that USA TODAY and The Boston Globe planned to publish them.

    Those ratings, unlike the hospital rankings, take private-sector nursing home averages into account. As of March 31, nearly half of VA nursing homes – 58 – received the lowest one-star rating.

    Use the column heads below to sort by city, state or star rating or to see how this year’s hospital ratings compare with last year.

    Source

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  • Worst Ranking Hosp

     

    WASHINGTON – The number of one-star Veterans Affairs hospitals has dropped from 14 to nine since last year, according to star rankings the VA released Wednesday.

    Five VA hospitals remain at the bottom of the rankings for the third straight year, including in Big Spring and El Paso, Texas; Loma Linda, California; and Phoenix, where a wait-time crisis in 2014 triggered a national scandal.

    Also among the one-star hospitals for the third year in a row is the VA medical center in Memphis, Tennessee, where USA TODAY reported patient safety problems have soared in recent years. Montgomery dropped from three stars in 2017 to one star in 2018.

    Overall, 40 VA hospitals dropped one star or more, 68 stayed the same and 38 improved in the rankings. The largest improvement was in Hot Springs, South Dakota, which went from two stars to five.

    “With closer monitoring and increased medical center leadership and support, we have seen solid improvements at most of our facilities,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Even our highest performing facilities are getting better, and that is driving up our quality standards across the country.”

    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 on which one is the worst and five the best.

    The rankings compare VA hospitals against each other, but the number of one-star hospitals is not constant. Medical centers in that bracket can be elevated to two stars based on quality-of-care factors.

    The agency did not start releasing the ratings until USA TODAY obtained and published them for the first time in 2016. The VA then committed to posting them annually.

    The VA also rates 133 agency nursing homes on a one-to-five star scale and kept those ratings from the public until learning this year that USA TODAY and The Boston Globe planned to publish them.

    Those ratings, unlike the hospital rankings, take private-sector nursing home averages into account. As of March 31, nearly half of VA nursing homes – 58 – received the lowest one-star rating.

    Use the column heads below to sort by city, state or star rating or to see how this year’s hospital ratings compare with last year.

    City

    State

    2017

    2018

    Change

    Big Spring

    Texas

    1

    1

    0

    Decatur

    Ga.

    3

    1

    -2

    El Paso

    Texas

    1

    1

    0

    Loma Linda

    Calif.

    1

    1

    0

    Memphis

    Tenn.

    1

    1

    0

    Montgomery

    Ala.

    3

    1

    -2

    Phoenix

    Ariz.

    1

    1

    0

    Tucson

    Ariz.

    3

    1

    -2

    Washington

    D.C.

    2

    1

    -1

    Albuquerque

    N.M.

    2

    2

    0

    Augusta

    Ga.

    3

    2

    -1

    Battle Creek

    Mich.

    2

    2

    0

    Beckley

    W.V.

    3

    2

    -1

    Biloxi

    Miss.

    1

    2

    1

    Cheyenne

    Wyo.

    3

    2

    -1

    Columbia

    S.C.

    2

    2

    0

    Dallas

    Texas

    3

    2

    -1

    Denver

    Colo.

    2

    2

    0

    East Orange

    N.J.

    3

    2

    -1

    Fayetteville

    N.C.

    2

    2

    0

    FortHarrison

    Mont.

    3

    2

    -1

    Fort Wayne

    Ind.

    3

    2

    -1

    Fresno

    Calif.

    1

    2

    1

    Hampton

    Va.

    2

    2

    0

    Harlingen

    Texas

    1

    2

    1

    Honolulu

    Hawaii

    2

    2

    0

    Jackson

    Miss.

    2

    2

    0

    Kansas City

    Mo.

    2

    2

    0

    LakeCity

    Fla.

    2

    2

    0

    Las Vegas

    Nev.

    2

    2

    0

    Long Beach

    Calif.

    3

    2

    -1

    Marion

    Ill.

    2

    2

    0

    Martinsburg

    W.Va.

    3

    2

    -1

    Murfreesboro

    Tenn.

    1

    2

    1

    Muskogee

    Okla.

    2

    2

    0

    Nashville

    Tenn.

    1

    2

    1

    Oklahoma City

    Okla.

    3

    2

    -1

    Palo Alto

    Calif.

    2

    2

    0

    Pineville

    La.

    2

    2

    0

    Prescott

    Ariz.

    2

    2

    0

    Roseburg

    Ore.

    1

    2

    1

    San Juan

    P.R.

    3

    2

    -1

    Seattle

    Wash.

    2

    2

    0

    Walla Walla

    Wash.

    1

    2

    1

    Albany

    N.Y.

    3

    3

    0

    Anchorage

    Alaska

    3

    3

    0

    Ann Arbor

    Mich.

    4

    3

    -1

    Baltimore

    Md.

    3

    3

    0

    Bay Pines

    Fla.

    3

    3

    0

    Boise

    Idaho

    4

    3

    -1

    Brooklyn

    N.Y.

    2

    3

    1

    Chicago

    Ill.

    3

    3

    0

    Columbia

    Mo.

    3

    3

    0

    Danville

    Ill.

    3

    3

    0

    Dayton

    Ohio

    4

    3

    -1

    Detroit

    Mich.

    2

    3

    1

    Dublin

    Ga.

    1

    3

    2

    Durham

    N.C.

    3

    3

    0

    Fayetteville

    Ark.

    4

    3

    -1

    FortMeade

    S.D.

    4

    3

    -1

    Gainesville

    Fla.

    2

    3

    1

    Hines

    Ill.

    3

    3

    0

    Houston

    Texas

    4

    3

    -1

    Indianapolis

    Ind.

    3

    3

    0

    Iowa City

    Iowa

    2

    3

    1

    Little Rock

    Ark.

    2

    3

    1

    Los Angeles

    Calif.

    3

    3

    0

    Louisville

    Ky.

    3

    3

    0

    Manchester

    N.H.

    4

    3

    -1

    Mather

    Calif.

    2

    3

    1

    Miami

    Fla.

    4

    3

    -1

    Milwaukee

    Wis.

    3

    3

    0

    Montrose

    N.Y.

    4

    3

    -1

    New Orleans

    La.

    3

    3

    0

    Northport

    N.Y.

    4

    3

    -1

    Orlando

    Fla.

    3

    3

    0

    PerryPoint

    Md.

    3

    3

    0

    Philadelphia

    Pa.

    3

    3

    0

    Poplar Bluff

    Mo.

    4

    3

    -1

    Portland

    Ore.

    3

    3

    0

    Providence

    R.I.

    4

    3

    -1

    Reno

    Nev.

    3

    3

    0

    Salisbury

    N.C.

    4

    3

    -1

    Salt Lake City

    Utah

    3

    3

    0

    San Antonio

    Texas

    3

    3

    0

    San Diego

    Calif.

    3

    3

    0

    San Francisco

    Calif.

    3

    3

    0

    Shreveport

    La.

    3

    3

    0

    Spokane

    Wash.

    3

    3

    0

    St. Louis

    Mo.

    2

    3

    1

    Syracuse

    N.Y.

    4

    3

    -1

    Temple

    Texas

    3

    3

    0

    Tomah

    Wis.

    3

    3

    0

    Topeka

    Kan.

    3

    3

    0

    Tuscaloosa

    Ala.

    4

    3

    -1

    W Palm Beach

    Fla.

    2

    3

    1

    WhiteCity

    Ore.

    1

    3

    2

    White River Junction

    Vt.

    3

    3

    0

    Wilkes-Barre

    Pa.

    3

    3

    0

    Wilmington

    Del.

    2

    3

    1

    Altoona

    Pa.

    5

    4

    -1

    Amarillo

    Texas

    3

    4

    1

    Birmingham

    Ala.

    4

    4

    0

    Boston

    Mass.

    5

    4

    -1

    Bronx

    N.Y.

    3

    4

    1

    Buffalo

    N.Y.

    3

    4

    1

    Canandaigua

    N.Y.

    3

    4

    1

    Charleston

    S.C.

    5

    4

    -1

    Chillicothe

    Ohio

    3

    4

    1

    Clarksburg

    W.V.

    3

    4

    1

    Columbus

    Ohio

    5

    4

    -1

    Des Moines

    Iowa

    3

    4

    1

    Fargo

    N.D.

    5

    4

    -1

    Grand Junction

    Colo.

    4

    4

    0

    Huntington

    W.V.

    4

    4

    0

    Leavenworth

    Kan.

    2

    4

    2

    Lexington

    Ky.

    5

    4

    -1

    Minneapolis

    Minn.

    5

    4

    -1

    Mountain Home

    Tenn.

    4

    4

    0

    New York

    N.Y.

    2

    4

    2

    North Chicago

    Ill.

    4

    4

    0

    Omaha

    Neb.

    5

    4

    -1

    Pittsburgh

    Penn.

    5

    4

    -1

    Richmond

    Va.

    4

    4

    0

    Sheridan

    Wyo.

    3

    4

    1

    Sioux Falls

    S.D.

    5

    4

    -1

    Tampa

    Fla.

    4

    4

    0

    Wichita

    Kan.

    3

    4

    1

    Asheville

    N.C.

    4

    5

    1

    Augusta

    Maine

    3

    5

    2

    Bath

    N.Y.

    5

    5

    0

    Bedford

    Mass.

    5

    5

    0

    Butler

    Pa.

    5

    5

    0

    Cincinnati

    Ohio

    4

    5

    1

    Cleveland

    Ohio

    5

    5

    0

    Coatesville

    Pa.

    5

    5

    0

    Erie

    Pa.

    5

    5

    0

    Hot Springs

    S.D.

    2

    5

    3

    IronMountain

    Mich.

    5

    5

    0

    Lebanon

    Pa.

    3

    5

    2

    Leeds

    Mass.

    5

    5

    0

    Madison

    Wis.

    4

    5

    1

    Saginaw

    Mich.

    4

    5

    1

    Salem

    Va.

    4

    5

    1

    St Cloud

    Minn.

    5

    5

    0

    West Haven

    Conn.

    3

    5

    2

    Source

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  • Removed from High Risk List

     

    WASHINGTON -- Five low-performing Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals have improved enough in the past six months to no longer qualify as high risk, the VA announced Tuesday.

    The VA hospitals in Dublin, Ga.; Harlingen, Texas; Roseburg, Ore., Nashville and Denver were removed from high-risk status based on new performance statistics released Tuesday.

    The statistics, called the Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, or SAIL, score hospitals based on 25 categories, including patient satisfaction, overall efficiency and death rates. The scorecards are used to rank hospitals using a star system -- one star being the worst and five the best.

    Last year, 15 hospitals, including the facilities in Dublin, Harlingen, Nashville, Roseburg and Denver, received one-star ratings. The VA in February announced an "aggressive new approach" to improving those hospitals, which included more direct oversight from VA headquarters.

    At the 15 hospitals, 26 managers and senior leaders were removed -- a result of "close scrutiny of performance trends," said VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour.

    The five hospitals removed from the high-risk list are on track to rise to two stars when the new star ratings are released, Cashour said. The new star ratings are expected to be made public before Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

    Nine other VA hospitals are still designated as high risk. Those facilities are located in Hampton, Va.; Big Spring and El Paso, Texas; Jackson, Miss.; Loma Linda, Calif.; Memphis and Mufreesboro, Tenn.; Walla Walla, Wash., and Phoenix.

    One hospital that made the high-risk list has gotten worse. The Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center was elevated to "critical" in July after a quarterly review found conditions had deteriorated.

    The D.C. hospital has been under scrutiny since last year, when the VA inspector general warned of widespread failures that put Veterans at risk. The warning prompted former VA Secretary David Shulkin to fire the hospital director. Since then, a series of temporary directors have led the facility.

    VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said Aug. 7 that he would soon announce a new, permanent leader for the hospital. As of Tuesday, he had yet to name a replacement.

    Source

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