VA Stops Sharing Health Care Quality Data Online

Law Firm Newswire



Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 17, 2016 – During the summer the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stopped reporting data on health care standards at its hospitals. The agency made the move despite a two-year-old law that requires the statistics to be shared with a national consumer database.

For several years the VA submitted performance data to the Hospital Compare website managed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The data comprised several criteria for measuring quality at private and public hospitals nationwide, including death and readmission rates. According to a USA Today report, the VA stopped sharing data on July 1.

“It is important for veterans to be able to access information about quality of care at various facilities,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veteran’s attorney. “That way, they can make informed decisions about where to seek the best possible health care that meets their needs.”

Joe Francis, the Veterans Health Administration’s director of clinical analytics and reporting, said HHS lawyers told the VA to discontinue sending data while the two agencies devised a new plan for sharing statistics. “It’s deeply frustrating to us, and it’s our commitment to get back online as soon as we can,” said Francis.

The VA first started providing patient satisfaction and quality information in 2008. Former VA secretary Eric Shinseki announced data sharing with Hospital Compare three years later. The effort allowed veterans to compare medical care at their local VA facility with the area’s public hospitals before deciding where to seek treatment.

In 2014 Congress passed a law requiring the VA to submit even more information following the scandal in which inappropriate scheduling practices were reported at VA facilities nationwide. The VA told USA Today it would resume reporting to the HHS Hospital Compare database on October 1.

“The VA should ensure they are committed to providing veterans and their families with transparent information about the quality of its health care system. They should be as open and accountable as possible,” said Magann.

Learn more at David W. Magann, P.A. Main Office: 156 West Robertson Street Brandon, FL 33511 Call: (813) 657-9175 Tampa Office: 18715 N Dale Mabry Hwy Lutz, FL 33548