Patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system are more likely to receive preventive and chronic care as recommended by well-established national standards than is the general population, according to a study released in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Among the results found, Veterans Health Administration patients overall received recommended care 67% of the time, compared with 51% for the general population; VHA patients with diabetes received indicated care 70% of the time, compared with 57% generally; and VHA patients with depression received recommended care 80% of the time, compared with 62% generally. The study, done by researchers at the VA, the Rand Corp., the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Michigan, evaluated 348 clinical indicators of quality for 26 medical conditions. The researchers evaluated the quality of care given to a national sample of patients from 12 communities with populations of 200,000 or more against care given to VA patients from 26 facilities in 12 healthcare systems in the Southwest and Midwest. Read the study. -- by Tony Fong
VHA care follows best practices more often: study
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