Where to receive care? : VA and private hospital ratings

Frank forwarded a botched surgery US Today article to us about a one-star VA hospital in Memphis.  Here is the link to the VHA called “a house of horrors.” By scrolling down to can read how many “stars” VHA rates its hospitals.

Limited VA hospital data is now included on Medicare’s Hospital Compare search (LINK).

Medicare explains: (LINK)

 VHA has approximately 50 percent of Veterans enrolled in the healthcare system who are eligible for Medicare and, therefore, have some choice in how and where they receive inpatient services.

Medicare lists but doesn’t give stars to VHA hospitals.

Only two Memphis hospitals earned “gold seal” status (LINK) from the Joint Commission Quality Check (JCQC) (LINK), an accreditation non-profit.

US News Best Hospitals annual reports offer another good place to gather information before surrendering your hurting body to hospital staff (LINK).

They rate Memphis hospitals here but unlike the JCQC don’t give Selby/One Regional Health any kudos.  The rating standards are listed here.

US News doesn’t say much to say about Memphis VHA either (LINK).

Well, the moral of the story Frank forwarded is to do some research if you know you need hospital services and try to pick the best one for your condition.  If you are  geographically far away from a VHA, you may have some good private choices, whether Medicare/VA dual enrolled or not.  Even within the VA system, some hospitals do have excellent reputations with some conditions and you have the right to pick care elsewhere with your VA-PC’s referral.  There might even be a Fisher’s House nearby for free and comfortable housing assistance (LINK) during your treatment period.

So I would review and compare hospitals in this order:  the VA’s star system, the Joint Commission, US News report, and lastly Medicare.  One can’t prevent all the horrible mistakes made by hospital staff but you may be able to lessen the risks with prior research during a non-emergency period.

Click to see videos in 2015: Memphis staff leaves desk and floors for daily ; patient fed with no gloves.

A vet patient in Memphis VHA 2015 took some vids that ended up on Fox.   One doesn’t want to end up in this kind of hospital bizarre–one where bonuses are/were still handed out!  Click image to see his expose.

About Laura

NW Vermont.
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4 Responses to Where to receive care? : VA and private hospital ratings

  1. Don Bichler says:

    Sick. The top person should be immediately let go. I can see reasons why Vets are pissed with their claim denial when the regional office gives you the bs that “VA doctors have opined that your disabilities were not caused in service because you didn’t whine right away within 1 year after service”. I have one VA doctor that was graduated from med school at UCI in southern california and given further training and telling me the injuries to my cervical spine were not caused in service. Found a doctor that was in a trauma care facility in Afghanistan and had an assessment done and said, even after almost 50 years, that my injuries were caused by an explosion. The VA doc was born here and attended med school here and still can’t get it right. Not necessarily foreign docs to blame. Like to mention his name but not mean enough, yet.

  2. Kiedove says:

    Ron, Well thank you for highlighting the sickening facts in the article about the failures of the Memphis VA. This vet went in for blood vessel repairs; three weeks later, his leg has to come off with the tubing packaging the doctor left behind, found inside it. Terrible.

    I hadn’t heard of the organization you mention. http://www.ecfmg.org/ If the Sec. wants to upgrade, shouldn’t this certification should be mandatory?

    Keep us informed about Memphis. If Amazon locates a warehouse there, it looks like 50K jobs may open up.
    Your best hospital seems to be the Methodist one. For kids, St. Judes.

    • Ron says:

      I’m truly sorry to have been the bearer of ill news. I really am but after having worked in a VA hospital in the early 70’s when Nixon was president, they were really up to speed then, at least at the hospital where I worked, and that was until I started to go to college nearby and found that it interfered with my schooling. However, there was none of this current scandal that is taking place now. The administrator would fire someone for maltreatment of a vet. Even then though underfunded by comparison that hospital strived to put the vet first. Many were then returning from Nam and had all sorts of things wrong due to being in that environment. Now it seems that these hospitals care nothing for whom they are supposed to be there for.
      I always like to tell bitchy employees and hostile aggressives,
      “The only reason that you exist here is to serve vets like me and I want you to remember that. By the way, what is your name?” That usually cools their jets.

  3. Ron says:

    Actually I have a note to add here on the VA Medical Center in Memphis.
    On Friday’s Commercial Appeal there was a front page article on an incident that took place. The doctor did an arterial catheterization on a man’s leg. The only problem was that the Doc forgot to take off the plastic sheath from the catheter and left it in the man’s leg. Two weeks later the man’s leg had to be amputated.
    Now Memphis VA is under watch. Not just from this alone but from a series of other incidents also listed in the Commercial Appeal article. It is listed as one of the four worst hospitals in the US. We have several foreign doctors here and two that I know of for sure have never been to the ECFMG (Electoral College Foreign Medical Graduate so I am told by a foreign physician who went to the training). Those two practice and I’ve had run ins with them both making statements on my medical record that were not true. No names called of course, but there are several others that practice in the VA here in Memphis. One that used to be here was an “Orthopaedic physician” that used to place steel rods up the inside of veterans legs so he wouldn’t have to replace the knee joint.
    Could it be that this is just one of many reasons for this bad publicity, like nurses that believe that all vets are “sponging” off the government?
    Or could it be that many of the employees think that they can talk to a vet like he is an idiot? This has happened to me so I speak from personal experience.
    Or could it be that the administration is supporting this type of bad behavior?
    One has to read the article and be a patient in the VAMC Memphis to appreciate the statements being made. Sorry for the lengthy discourse here but as one of my college teachers was noted to say: “Conciseness is not brevity.” It certainaly wasn’t in the news article.

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