Veterans Affairs gives Lebanon VA 4 of 5 stars

Written by Daniel Walmer/Lebanon Daily New | Dec 8, 2016 10:25 AM

Lebanon VA (Photo courtesy of the Lebanon Daily News)

Internal ratings were uncovered by USA Today

(Lebanon) -- Overall, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs believes the Lebanon VA Medical Center is doing a pretty good job of caring for its patients, according to internal rankings obtained by USA Today.

USA Today discovered the Department of Veterans Affairs has internally ranked its medical centers for years but refused to make them public.

The most recent full data set available is from December 31, 2015. At that time, the Lebanon VA was given a ranking of four out of five stars.

The VA's internal rankings had given just 47 of 146 facilities a four- or five-star rating at that time.

The Department of Veterans Affairs also provided USA Today with a list of facilities ranked either one-star or five-star as of June 30, 2016. Lebanon was not included in that list, meaning it is still ranked in the two- to four-star range.

Doug Etter, spokesman for Lebanon VA, said Wednesday afternoon that the VA did not wish to provide its thoughts until after having a chance to read USA Today's article.

The VA does make a variety of metrics available to the public for each facility on its website through its Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning scorecard.

According to the scorecard, the Lebanon VA scored between the 10th and 90th percentiles in most areas in the second quarter of 2016.

Areas in which it was worse than 90 percent of VA medical centers for the quarter included total central-line-associated bloodstream infections, hospital-wide 30-day readmission rates, and registered nurse turnover rate.

It was better than 90 percent of VA medical centers in pneumonia risk-standardized readmission rate (RSRR) and the ability to get a routine care appointment as soon as needed through the Patient-Centered Medical Home program.

A particular area of strength was mental health, where the Lebanon VA was given a higher standardized score than 90 percent of facilities, both overall and in three subcategories.

As previously reported by the Lebanon Daily News, the Lebanon VA recently received high marks in a veteran satisfaction survey used by VA medical centers throughout the country.

In October, Lebanon VA Medical Center Director and CEO Robert W. Callahan Jr. was temporarily moved to the Wilmington VA Medical Center following the sudden reassignment of its own director.

Retired Navy Capt. Margaret G. Wilson is serving as acting director of the Lebanon VA.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

Published in Lebanon

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