VA hospitals outperform private hospitals in most markets, according to Dartmouth study

Press Release, US Department of Veteran Affairs

WASHINGTON — According to an independent Dartmouth study recently published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals outperform private hospitals in most health care markets throughout the country. 

“This is proof that the hard work and dedication of our VA employees is making a real difference in the lives of our nation’s Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “It validates the strong work we’re doing for Veterans under President Trump’s leadership in giving our heroes the very best quality of care that they have earned through their faithful service to our country.”

Dartmouth researchers assessed 121 regional health care markets with at least one VA facility and one non-VA hospital in conjunction with Hospital Compare data, a public database that ranks hospitals on quality measures like mortality rates and patient safety indicators.

According to the findings, VA hospitals provided the best care in most referral regions and rarely provided inadequate care.VHA hospitals provided the best care in most referral regions and rarely provided the worst care. VHA hospitals provided the best care in most referral regions and rarely provided the worst care.

One the most notable findings in study showed VA hospitals were the best or above average for treating heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. Additionally, VA ranked best in local markets at least half the time for measures including death rates among patients with serious complications after surgery; collapsed lung due to medical treatment; broken hip from a fall after surgery; and bloodstream infections after surgery.

While VA supports most of the study’s findings, the agency does not agree with the authors’ stance on community care, which ignores the fact that for decades it has served as a vital tool for ensuring VA has the ability to provide Veterans the best, most timely health care possible, and that it enjoys strong bipartisan support, as evidenced by passage of the MISSION Act.

VA has been offering community care since the World War II era, starting with the then-Veterans Administration’s Hometown Program that began in 1945. Former Secretary David Shulkin was a staunch advocate for community care and sought to increase its role at VA, arguing that competition with private providers is necessary for VA facilities to improve continuously. Former Secretary Bob McDonald also underscored the importance of this option for Veterans.

To learn more about the study visit

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.