Thursday, May 6, 2010

VA Limiting Surgeries to Improve Care and Quality

Officials at the Department of Veterans' Affairs have announced that surgeries at some VA facilities will be limited based on the agency's "surgery complexity initiative." The initiative grades VA hospitals based on their medical staffing, equipment, and diagnostic capabilities. The complexity of surgical procedures are compared against the grade received by a facility to determine if the facility is capable of performing certain procedures.

66 facilities have been approved to perform complex procedures (cardiac, brain pancreas surgeries, etc.). 33 have been approved for intermediate procedures (joint replacement, colon ressections, etc.). 13 facilities are limited to standard procedures (hernia repair, ear, nose, and throat surgeries, etc.).

The VA said that they will assist with transportation to facilities if a patient needs to go to a distant hospital for a procedure due to the limitations. The VA said that this system is part of its response to improve quality after problems were discovered at the VA hospital in Marion, IL.

Source: Army Times

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