VA facilities at least equal to others: study

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The quality of care provided in healthcare facilities managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is comparable to the quality of community-based facilities, according to a recent research review.

Investigators with the RAND Corporation sifted through 69 studies on the healthcare delivered in VA facilities compared to other settings. 

Results, broken down into sections including safety, effectiveness and efficacy, show that the VA facilities often perform similarly, or even better than, other healthcare facilities.

Mortality rates among residents of VA nursing home and community nursing homes were found to be similar, while veterans who died in VA settings received palliative care consults or death in a dedicated palliative care or hospice unit more often.

Another study included in the review found those receiving care in VA facilities were less likely to develop pressure ulcers than veterans residing in community-based facilities. 

“In terms of safety and effectiveness, VA facilities compare favorably with others,” said Courtney Gidengil, M.D., MPH. Results appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine