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Latest News

New VA rankings: Montgomery one of the nation's worst hospitals

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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

Fort Harrison

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

Lake City

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

Fort Meade

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

Perry Point

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

White City

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

Iron Mountain

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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