Western New York Healthcare System announced that it has received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This is the first time CMS has included VA facilities in its annual Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings.
The CMS uses five categories – mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care – to award a quality rating for each hospital. The more stars (out of 5), the better a hospital performed on the available quality measures. The CMS star ratings can be found on the Care Compare website.
Of the 4,654 hospitals CMS assessed nationwide, 483 (roughly 10%) were awarded a rating of five stars. Within New York state, 11 hospitals received five-star ratings, with VAWNYHS being the only hospital in the Western New York region to receive 5 stars.
Among VA hospitals, nearly 30% received 5 stars; 37% received 4 stars; 15% were given 3 stars; 11%, 2 stars; and 8%, or nine facilities, 1 star.
A press release stated, “These findings are the latest in a series of recent evaluations showing the effectiveness of VA health care compared to non-VA health care. VA hospitals outperformed non-VA hospitals on all 10 core patient satisfaction metrics in the recent Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Star Ratings, and a recent systematic review of more than 40 peer-reviewed studies found that VA health care is consistently as good as – or better than – non-VA health care.”
Michael J. Swartz, VA Western New York Healthcare System’s executive director, said, “Our staff take great pride in the 5-star care we give to veterans every day. We are committed to excellence and providing the best possible care to every veteran who walks through our doors.”
VA Secretary Denis McDonough added, “Whenever a veteran entrusts us with their care, they deserve to know that they're getting the very best, that's what we strive for in every hospital across the nation, and we will never settle for anything less.”