KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

As VA Touts Quality Of System, Study Shows No Difference In Mortality Rate

McClatchy/The Seattle Times: "The Department of Veterans Affairs has touted for years the achievements of its health-care system, but a new study," published in the journal Medical Care, "shows its health outcomes are ... about like everybody else's." The VA recently highlighted the study as evidence of the quality of its system, "[h]owever, the study - which synthesized the results of three dozen other studies that compared VA health care with care provided by non-VA providers - concluded the VA performed well on many measures of medical care, but also found that the VA had little impact on the key question of whether the patient lived or died. … What the latest study shows is the VA performs well on what are known as 'process' measures, whether a certain test was ordered, for example. But studies that compare health outcomes - do patients in the VA system better or live longer? - are equivocal" (Adams 11/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.