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Study: VA Hospitals Compare Favorably to Nearby Private Hospitals


New research shows that, overall, VA hospitals compare well to nearby private hospitals.

Over the years, studies have shown that VA healthcare is as good as or better than private sector care. In this new study, researchers wanted to look at how a given VA hospital compared to private hospitals nearby.

They looked at publicly-available data in 121 different areas across the country and compared things like risk-adjusted mortality rates and safety indicators. With a few exceptions, VA hospitals compared favorably.

The study was conducted by William Weeks, professor at the Dartmouth Institute, and Alan N. West of the White River Junction VA Medical Center. Weeks says among those relatively good VAs was the one in Boston, "where, out of the 15 metrics that we looked at, the VA was actually the best in the market, and that's about, you know, 45 hospitals."

Weeks says VA programs instituted in the early 1990s to track the quality of certain medical procedures seem to be bearing fruit.

The study did not include an analysis of the markets that included the Manchester or White River Junction VAs. It was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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