A patient walks down a hallway in ~ the Fayetteville Veterans affairs Medical facility in phibìc Carolina in march 2015. A nationwide study uncovered VA hospitals often meet or exceed the top quality of other medical choices in neighborhood regions. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
WASHINGTON — Veterans to work officials space touting a brand-new study praising VA hospitals for outperforming most private-sector medical options, yet rejecting the authors’ conclusions the the findings weaken the administration’s support for shifting more veterans care into the private sector.

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The study, performed by Dartmouth university researchers and published in the Annals of internal Medicine this week, looked in ~ 121 local markets v at least one VA facility and also found the department-run medical center provided much better care than private alternatives in most cases. In just a few cases, VA was the least preferable option for many patients.

VA hospitals were generally the finest option because that patients in dealing with heart ailments and pneumonia. Castle study likewise rated an ext than half of the VA hospitals reviewed together the finest local choice for fatality rates among patients with surgery complications and treatment that bloodstream epidemic after surgery.


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In a statement, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie hailed the findings as proof the VA mechanism is carrying “the an extremely best quality of care that (veterans) have earned with their faithful company to our country.”

But in a push release lauding the study, VA officials likewise attacked authors’ analysis that inquiries whether expanding much more access to private-sector doctors for veterans will certainly produce far better health care for the population.

President Donald Trump has actually repeatedly promised to make accessing external medical care easier because that veterans, a prospect that movie critics have dubbed the progressive privatization the VA’s mission.

Last summer, lawmakers passed the VA Mission Act, which amongst other campaigns mandates an review of the department’s community care programs. Room officials space in the procedure of rewriting rules for veterans come receive medical treatments external the Veterans Health management while still making use of taxpayer funds.

Wilkie is supposed to testify on that occupational so far at a share House and Senate Veterans’ work Committees hear Wednesday. On Thursday, room officials argued that VA hospitals giving exemplary treatment does not average that community care options are less vital to the larger department health treatment plans.

“(The study) ignores the fact that for years (community care) has served as a an important tool for ensuring VA has actually the ability to carry out veterans the best, many timely health care possible, and that it enjoys solid bipartisan support,” the relax stated.


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A injured Warrior job membership survey released previously this month detailed that more than two-thirds of responded preferred VA together their main health treatment provider, citing in part much more confidence in those physician’s specialization in dealing with military-specific wounds.

That team has additionally seen an raised reliance top top the VA device for serious health needs. Much more than 70 percent of those polled supplied VA mental wellness services in the critical year, increase from 63 percent 4 years ago.

Democrats in the House have actually promised nearby scrutiny of the new community care rules — due this spring — come ensure that VA resources isn’t being shifted exterior the department’s system to private-sector physicians who provide a lesser top quality of care.

Reporter Natalie Gross added to this story.

Leo consist of Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White house for military Times. He has actually covered Washington, D.C. Due to the fact that 2004, focusing on army personnel and also veterans policies. His work has actually earned numerous honors, consisting of a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 national Headliner Award, the IAVA management in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.


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