VA Hospital patients “rebound” as often as patients at private hospitals

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A new analysis by Medicare has found that patients 65 or older suffering from heart failure, heart attacks, or pneumonia are just as likely to be readmitted within a month at Veteran’s Health Administration (VA) hospitals as at private hospitals. Only one of the 107 VA hospitals evaluated had significantly lower readmission rates for one of the conditions tracked by Medicare; 15 had higher-than-average readmission rates for one or more of the three tracked conditions.

HSPH Professor Ashish Jha, a physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System, told The Washington Post that VA hospitals do well by most other metrics. “It makes you wonder how much hospitals can really control readmissions if a place like the VA cannot have dramatically lower rates,” he said.