The Veterans Health Administration has an important goal: Defining Excellence in the 21st Century. This can be challenging in a department that has existed for over 100 years, but through collaboration, research and advances in technology, the goal is attainable.

Yesterday The Joint Commission, an organization responsible for the accreditation and certifying of health care systems within the United States, released their first ever Top Performers list. The program recognizes accredited hospitals that are able to reach and maintain positive patient outcomes.

While all 152 of VA’s medical centers are accredited by The Joint Commission, 20 of them in 15 different states have been recognized as Top Performers.

New ways to deliver the best health care and services to Veterans will always be developed, and there will continue to be ways to improve how VA operates. As Under Secretary for Health Dr. Petzel points out, his team will continue to work to meet their goals:

“VA health care has been a leader in performance measurement, electronic health records, research and clinical quality for more than a decade. I am proud of the staff and I fully expect to see more VA medical centers making this list next year.”

Read more about the Top Performers eligibility criteria and requirements—and remember, a great way to connect with these VA medical centers (or your local facility) is through Facebook or Twitter.

View photos of the top performing VA Medical Centers.

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Published on Sep. 15, 2011

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  1. John Shilling February 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I use the VA facility in Columbus Ohio. Most all the grunts in the system are wonderful and caring people with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, as you go up the pay scale the quality of the employees drops greatly. It sounds xenophobic, if you can’t understand what your doctor is saying to you, then there is a problem. We shouldn’t need an interpreter when we are inside a facility that treats people that gave a lot to defend this country. Many are good, but many are also substandard when compared to outside the VA medical staff.

    Last week I continued my request to see the VA Pain Clinic. I saw them a year ago and they prescribed a series of medication for major pain issues. After 7 back surgeries I will always have pain issues. Within an hour of my email request to my primary care doctor I got a call telling me that I was required to submit a urine collection. I gave them a golden flow after Thanksgiving, which is around 2 months ago. I have my medical records from the VA now and every single urine test are totally clean and barely register the meds I am on. Gastric bypass people have problem absorbing medicines taken orally because 10′ of the intestine has been removed. Revenge?

    I did the test this week and then went to the VA. It appears that my appeal for Agent Orange problems have mysteriously been missing for a very log time. When I have called they keep saying that my case is under appeal and it will take time. The real reason is it has been MIA.

    My primary care doctor isn’t an MD. He graduated from a religion based school in Missouri and according to his nurse is a big believer in prayer over medicine. He treats all pain patients as if they are all addicts.

    I suggest that people that have problems with VA doctors go to a site like Rate My Doctor and look them up and give them the rating the deserve. It’s the only way to warn other people about the quality of care they give to VA users. If they are god and caring and wonderful, tell the world. If they cause problems with the people they see, then everyone should know about it. It is often our only recourse in this bureaucracy driven world.

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  3. Charles T. Cauthen October 12, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Why is VA Health Care so low beyond sub-standard that even the government won’t rate it?

  4. Charles T. Cauthen October 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    All vets and ALL Vietnam Agent Orange Vets send your messages of experiances with VAHC to U.S. Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs to Senator Patty Murray.

  5. Jennifer October 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hello to anyone that can help me! I have been dealing with Va. now for a while and everytime I call I promise they treat me really bad. Well I had my son in Aug. 2010 and I called to get him added to my dependency claim well guess what he is still not added. Tehy told me oh I will process and they never did. I also did a increase in benefits claim in Nov 2010. Because the issues that I have have gotten extremely worse. I understand that things take time and there are other claims out there. I asked well if the increase for benefits can get done, can you please just add my baby. Well needless to say he is a year , But how can they just keep over looking people claims. I have called stayed on hold hours and hours. That is still in the Development Phase. I have done everything that VA. Has asked me to do. I really don’t know what else to do. I had my first child in 2000 and PNMC really messed me up. That cause me to have a knot on my spine and anumber of other things that causes me pain to this day. I just feel that the people in the call center just blows us off. I feel that as vets. they treat us really bad. Can someone give me advise or who I need to call in the Virginia area. They say that the average time to process a claim is like 175 days well I’m over that and nothing is happening. I have tried IRIS, I have called. I need help.

  6. JJ HOSMANjj October 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I have to disagree with most of the comments i have seen so far.
    Both myself and my wife are Navy Vets and get all our health care from the VA Medical Center in Manchester, NH. We both have nothing but the highest praise for the dedicated staff of this VA Center as well as the Staffs at Both the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain & West Roxbury, Mass. Facilities. Our experiences have been over the last 3 years and the VA Doctors and Nurses and Staffs have been nothing short of the highest quality and dedicated professionals that we have ever, in our 58 yrs of living, encountered. Many of the Doctors practicing here also practice at some of the most prestigious Hospitals in the world like Mass General & Brigham & Women’s & other prestigious hospitals in Boston. Certainly nobody or no system is perfect but in our experience having our health care at the VA here in Manchester, NH has been Nothing but the absolute best Care we have ever had. They are Respectful, Kind, Professional & Knowledgeable and always show an attitude that demonstrates that they are there to serve us Vets. I am sorry that so that so many vets are expressing a disdain and such strong dissatisfaction of their VA Healthcare BUT our experience has been the exact Opposite. The VA Health Care system up here gets 5 stars in our opinion.

  7. Clarence Fowler October 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I use the VAMC Beckley WV, while not perfect, care is acceptable with what manpower and resources. Ocassionally someone may be having a bad day and be a little short, but that is the exception, not the rule.

  8. louis September 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    i dont know how altoona got on the list. ive been going there fot 10 years and the care is lousy

  9. Larry Hafits September 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I had an appointment at vamc omaha. my primary care doctor came in the room started talking to me i understood nothing that came out of his mouth. my meds where all screwed up. i need to stay out of that building as much as possible because the last time i got an infection there i had problems getting my antibiotics. all i care about is the $3347 i get a month from va that i had to fight like hell to get. Larry Hafits

  10. Tom Garvey September 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I am not trying to be difficult but how can VA hospitals receive high quality ratings when VA physicians do not have to be licensed in the state that they practice in ?

  11. Tom Musolf September 27, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Sorry to see that Ralph Johnson VA Med Center, Charleston SC, didn’t make the cut. I have a lot of respect for the care they give. Congrats to “Dorn” in Columbia SC.

  12. Paul September 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Oh yeah, Where’s the list of “slightly above miserable” VA “hospitals?
    Probably got lost in your “CAPCHA” system.

  13. Paul September 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Your system ate my comment with your foolish “security” system. Looks like anything that is connected to the military veteran is disfunctional.

  14. Michael Shapiroq September 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I just returned from Gainesville VA Hospital, a one and one half hour drive from my home in Central Florida. My local outpatient clinic would not treat my severe flu like conditions with anything but over the counter medicine. After three weeks, my wife finally forced me to drive the 3 hours, 1 12hr there and then back 1 1/2hours. The receptionis staff was arrogant, disrectful, and so unprofessional you could describe them as rude. This was urgent care receptionist sitting at a desk that says, Urgent Care Checkin, but when I came up to her window, she pointed to another desk with no attendent and said, go there and follow the written instructions. When I didn’t understand her she just turned away. Same kind of crap at the labratory reception. I wish this VA certification staff would show up under cover of being an ailing Veteran and see what kind of service he’s provided with. Oh, by the way, turns out I have pneumonia and they gave me antibiotics to treat me. That’s what I asked my primary care doctor for two+ weeks ago. So they made me suffer two weeks of hell then treat me like, well not very well. I wish I had the money to afford private doctors but my war injuries make getting private insurance cost more than I make a month.

    • Emily September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      I understand! It’s a shame they post this stuff up, like they are tooting their own horn, and it’s a load of garbage, IMO. Sorry you had to go through that. I can’t get private care, either due to no insurance, and I have been waiting 3 years for them to help me out here at the VA Hospital in Houston. I live closer to it than you do to yours, but still.

  15. James Morton September 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Nice pictures but no captions to tell you where these centers are at. Looked like my center was in there but couldn’t really tell. Some editor is falling down on the job here. Would have been nice to see a list of the centers written out so you could see where yours fell. Very poorly done artical in my opinion which isn’t worth much these days but I am giving it anyway.

  16. Patriot September 21, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Th VA has to make tremendous increases in hiring personnel to serve those most deserving of the best medical care, before they should even presume to be number 1.
    Should JC ever decide to make unannounced site visits, and take everyone by surprise, the VA will continue to drop in SHEP scores.

  17. Mery Martinez September 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I totally agree. The VA healthcare does not even begin to know what good medical care is. They provide meager healthcare to those most deserving. I know many veterans who are disabled and are not getting the treatment they need because the VA does not want to take care of them. THe VA has a long ways to go before I would consider them number 1 for healthcare. I am a disabled veteran and have been going to the VA hospitals in Florida, Vermont and Ohio. FLorida has the worst VA hospitals in the whole nation.

    • Charles T. Cauthen September 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      You got that right! Florida is the WORST health care in the world. I got outa there before they could kill me. I now have private health care, dam I feel so much better. It’s good to deal with people who really care about your health. There are some very good people working in West Palm Beach, but upper management and most doctors there, could care less about your health.There’s evil there. I met and talked to a lot of vets there who know they are being treated like lab rats, and they are very upset. I can understand not being able to go somewhere to get at least reasonable health care. It’s not easy and the cost is a lot. To the VA, Vietnam Agent orange combat vets are not worthy of anything. They’ve proved that in the past and still do today. The truth is the VA does more damage to a VN OA victim than good. They test us to see what it’s like to watch us die, they want treat you. My guess is the DOD and VA get their kicks out of poisoning combat vets. I had a good visit today with a caring civilian doctor, he knows what the VA does to us.Hopefully we can add a little more to my life. I wish to God i’d never wasted what little time I have left with VA. Live and learn.

  18. Debbie Z September 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Not all hospitals made the list; however, the percentage of VA hospitals compared to those in the private sector is much greater. Good job VA in continuing to strive for excellence! Not all hospitals are accredited by The Joint Commission, although many are to increase their reimbursement rate from Medicare. The VA does not receive reimbursement from Medicare, but continue to choose to be accredited to ensure safe, quality care is being provided. Physicians, nurses, and other licensed professionals are always held accountable to their state licensing board, regardless of where they work.

  19. Dan F September 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Well good for the vets that are being seen at these VA centers. Too bad 132, or 87% of them don’t make the grade, including the three I have been a patient.

    Accreditation is fairly meaningless as you apply and pay for inclusion in the process. All hospitals are accredited. However, the VA does not have to meet individual state criteria, so there is little in the way a veteran knows if his care is as good as that in a local hospital.

    Combine that with the VA’s policy that a practitioner does not have to be licensed in the state in which they are administering health services and the protection afforded them against legal action for malpractice, and you will never achieve the overall trust level of private care. I have asked VA doctors that were formally in private practice why they left. A common answer is the malpractice insurance was too expensive or that medicare (a government program) made it impossible for them to make a profit.

    Sorry, these self-serving proclamations don’t give me any more confidence in the system than I had before.

    • John September 16, 2011 at 3:35 am

      Amen, on that! I use the Hampton Va. VAMC.

      • Andy September 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

        I too receive care in Hampton, and have lost all confidence in my primary care physician. I can go outside the VA, but being 100% service connected from a C6 spinal cord injury, I shouldn’t have to!

Comments are closed.

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