VA hospitals on par with other hospitals on managing major chronic conditions among older men

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken considerable heat on patient outcomes in recent years, but a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates VA hospitals are no worse than other providers on treating older males for heart failure, pneumonia and heart attacks. Based on results from nearly 8,000 VA patients, death rates for pneumonia were 12.6 percent, compared to 12.2 percent at other hospitals. And non-VA hospitals slightly outpaced VA facilities on heart failure and pneumonia mortality rates, according to the study. "Both groups are now working on quality in ways they didn't a decade ago and the levels of good performance are quite comparable," lead author Harlan Krumholz, M.D., of Yale University, told the Military Times. Study abstract