VA Healthcare Comes Out on Top in Systematic Review: The Full Story

Veteran HospitalsCredit: United States Department of Veterans Affairs

The Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons published articles based on a systematic review of studies about VA health care, concluding VA health care is consistently as good as — or better than — non-VA health care.

The findings come from a national review of peer-reviewed studies that evaluated VA on quality, safety, access, patient experience, and comparative cost/efficiency. Of the 26 studies that looked at non-surgical care, 15 reported VA care was better than non-VA care and seven reported equal or mixed clinical quality outcomes. Of the 13 studies that looked at quality and safety in surgical care, 11 reported VA surgical care is comparable or better than non-VA care.

VA is currently delivering more care to more Veterans than ever before in the nation’s history. Among the Veterans who receive their care from VA, approximately 90% trust VA to deliver their care.

“These studies demonstrate that VA care is consistently as good or better than non-VA care, both in surgical and non-surgical settings,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “VA’s public servants are here for Veterans anytime, anyplace — even in the midst of a pandemic. Our goal at VA is to deliver world-class care to every Veteran, every time, and we will never settle for anything less.”

This year’s systematic review included studies published between 2015 and 2021. This is the third systematic review of studies comparing VA care to non-VA care, the most recent of which was published in 2017. Each of these systematic reviews has come to the same overarching conclusion: on average, VA care is better than or comparable to non-VA care in the domains of clinical quality and safety.

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This review was conducted by researchers at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Read the full articles at Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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