Tags: Veterans | Veterans Affairs | Performance | Data

VA Stopped Sending Performance Data on Healthcare Quality Months Ago

Image: VA Stopped Sending Performance Data on Healthcare Quality Months Ago

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By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 09:58 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs stopped sending performance data on healthcare quality at its facilities over the summer, in spite of a 2014 law that mandates that the VA do so, reports USA Today.

The VA used to provide data, including rates of death and readmission, to the Hospital Compare website from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2014, according to The Washington Post, the VA's inspector general reported "finding that inappropriate scheduling practices are a systemic problem nationwide," and that they "identified multiple types of scheduling practices not in compliance with VHA [Veterans Health Administration] policy."

Congress passed the law following the VA scandal, but the USA Today reports that the department confirmed that the VA stopped sharing data on July 1.

According to Joe Francis, the Veterans Health Administration director of clinical analytics and reporting, told the paper that lawyers from HHS told VA officials to stop sending information until the agencies can iron out a new deal.

"It's deeply frustrating to us, and it's our commitment to get back online as soon as we can," he said.

HHS declined to answer USA Today's questions, but did release a statement from Aaron Albright, a CMS spokesman.

"We are working closely with the VA to finalize an inter-agency agreement and expect to sign the final agreement very shortly," Albright said.

The VA's own quality comparison site, hospitalcompare.va.gov, was taken down in February by the department. According to Francis, it was removed for not being accessible enough.

For example, using different colors to indicate the performance status of a VA medical center, which is a problem for the visually impaired.

"I'm not defending what we have currently in terms of our reporting site. It is not a user-friendly interface by any means, but that site at least met the (accessibility) requirements," Francis said.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs stopped sending performance data on healthcare quality at its facilities over the summer, in spite of a 2014 law that mandates that the VA do so, reports USA Today.
Veterans Affairs, Performance, Data
314
2016-58-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 09:58 AM
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