Informative Masterclass
How to Protect your Family’s Assets and Leave a Lasting Legacy
Save Your Spot Now!

White Plains & New City, New York Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm

Why Did VA Scrap Its Star Rating System?

March 13, 2020
David Parker, Esq.
David Parker, White Plains and New City NY Estate Planning Attorney
David Parker, Esq.
David Parker is an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning and Elder Law and has been practicing law for 30 years. Be it Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, or Medicaid Planning, David provides comprehensive and caring counsel for seniors and their families. A large portion of David’s practice is asset protection strategies so that families do not lose their hard earned savings to nursing home care costs. He also handles probate administration for the settlement of estates.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer issue star ratings for its 146 medical centers.

Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that individual VA hospitals will not get star ratings anymore. Instead, the VA will provide measurements like wait times, patient satisfaction ratings and medical services, along with quality assessments on their individual websites.

This move will let vets compare VA facilities with nearby public and private medical centers, said Military Times’ recent article entitled “VA drops its star ratings system for hospitals.”

“Star ratings were developed as an Internal tool meant to compare one VA facility to another,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “These ratings do not provide insight as to how our hospitals stack up against nearby non-VA facilities and are therefore of little value in helping veterans make informed health care decisions.”

VA officials say the change to do away with the star rating system will improve transparency. The move was first made public in a series of articles in USA Today.

The Veterans Affairs Administration’s ratings were frequently “misinterpreted,” they said. The ratings compared VA facilities by ranking them across the department’s health care system, instead of by “geography, population characteristics or unique care offerings” of neighboring non-VA facilities.

Although the VA hospital ratings didn’t permit vets to compare VA facilities with local medical centers, they did provide patients with an idea of how their VA hospital compared with the others and if it was doing well or declining.

When the ratings were originally published in 2016, 10 medical facilities had a 1-star rating, while 90 had shown “significant improvement” over a set of baseline measures. By 2019, the number of medical facilities that received a 1-star rating was down to nine, including three that had been on the list since 2016: El Paso, Memphis, and Phoenix.

Former VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin told USA Today that the ratings weren’t published as the VA didn’t want vets to think that if their hospital was awarded just a single one star, they wouldn’t receive quality care and would stop going.

While Shulkin had concerns about publishing the measures, by 2018, Secretary Robert Wilkie praised the results when they were made public. That year, the system showed improvements at 66% of VA medical centers. Only one location received a one-star rating.

“With closer monitoring and increased medical center leadership and support, we have seen solid improvements at most of our facilities,” Wilkie said at the time. “Even our highest performing facilities are getting better, and that is driving up our quality standards across the country.”

But in December, Wilkie commented that the new facility-based websites will “make it easier for veterans to choose the best possible care close to home, when and where they need it.”

Instead of the star system, the VA will still publish its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, or SAIL data, that provides an in-depth look of 14 metrics quality of care measures at all VA medical facilities.

Reference: Military Times (Jan. 2, 2020) “VA drops its star ratings system for hospitals”


Share This Post
Stay Informed
Subscribe To Our FREE Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law Newsletter

Book Your Free Initial Consultation With Parker Law Firm Today
Get Started Now

The 15 minute initial phone call is designed as a simple way for you to get to know us, and for our team to learn more about your unique estate planning needs.

Book an Initial Call
Book A Call With Parker Law Firm
Parker Law Firm
White Plains Location

222 Bloomingdale Rd #301,
White Plains, NY 10605

New City Location

120 North Main Street, Suite 203,
New City, NY 10956

IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by