VA Quality Data Released to Public on CMS Hospital Compare Web Site

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WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers are now included in the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Hospital Compare Web site, which measures hospital quality based on what matters most to patients – the outcomes of care.

“VA iscommitted to providing Veterans and their family memberswith a transparent accounting of the quality and safety of its health care system,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “In collaborating with CMS, we show our determination to be open and accountable to Veterans and their families.”

Release of outcomes data to the public is not new for VA. Mortality and readmission results were first posted in 2010 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.

CMS is reporting 30-day measures for three common and high-cost conditions: acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF), and pneumonia to the public through its Web site,www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov. This year CMS is reporting results for patients treated in VA’s health care system. The inclusion of VA data on CMS Hospital Compare is indicative of VA’s commitment to transparency, accountability and quality. Annual reporting on these measures furthers the goal of measuring and rewarding quality as a strategy for improving health care outcomes for Veterans and for patients overall.

Results of VA medical centers’ risk-adjusted mortality and readmission are available to the public on the CMS Hospital Compare Web site starting today.

Veterans, stakeholders and the general public will be able to directly compare the mortality rates and readmission rates at individual VA medical centers against non-VA hospitals for AMI, HF and pneumonia. The cases reported are from July 2007 through June 2010for approximately 4,530 non-federal U.S. acute care hospitals (including critical access hospitals) and Indian Health Services hospitals.

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