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In the News Again For the seventh straight year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has received significantly higher marks than the private health care industry on a leading independent survey of customer satisfaction.

“Our patients are the best judges of our health care system, and for

the seventh consecutive year, VA has received high marks from its customers in this independent study,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. “This study reaffirms VA’s success in providing world-class health care to our nation's veterans.”

The annual results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) also showed that overall satisfaction of patients for both inpatient and outpatient services increased last year at VA medical facilities.

The new ACSI survey results showed that the VA scored 84 percent in customer satisfaction for inpatient services, up one point from the 2005 rating. The rating of 82 percent for outpatient care was two points higher than last year's mark. VA significantly outscored the private sector in both categories, by 10 points for inpatient care, and eight points for outpatient care.

The report was produced by the National Quality Research Center at the University of

Michigan Business School and the Federal Consulting Group.

Added Recognition

“One of the most striking examples of American health care success” —that’s one medical journal’s recent assessment of the health care system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The most recent tribute to VA’s health care

system came in an article in the medical journal Neurology. According to the article,

“The VA has achieved remarkable improvements in patient care and health outcomes, and is a cost-effective and efficient organization.” As an example, the article cited VA’s comprehensive coverage, and said it is especially suited to manage chronic disease.

The Neurology article is the second recent study citing the quality of VA health care. In December, a comprehensive study by Harvard Medical School said federal and military hospitals, such as those run by the VA, provide the best care available anywhere for some of the most common life threatening


Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Health, said the article underscores the Department’s commitment to high quality patient care. “This shows that VA’s health system is recognized internationally as the benchmark for health care services,” Dr. Kussman said. “It further demonstrates that our commitment to high quality care is benefiting the men and women who have earned the best

possible care through service to our country.”

In 2006, VA received the prestigious “Innovations in American Government” Award

from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for its advanced electronic health records and performance measurement system.

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