Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Duers, can I get some help contrasting the VA hospital system to privatized hospitals?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:44 PM
Original message
Duers, can I get some help contrasting the VA hospital system to privatized hospitals?
I'm Googling, but I'm having trouble finding what I need. I'm in a conversation with a friend who's insisting that a story about improper sterilization of instruments at a certain VA hospital is proof that "socialism" will be the death of us all. lol I know, I know.

Anyway, I'm looking for something from a good source that shows how VA hospitals stack up against private hospitals as far as patient care, unnecessary deaths, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. If private, capitalistic companies are good enough for big-fuckn-deal, first-step health reform
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 12:47 PM by Oregone
They good enough for the VA (and education & social security to add to the lot)

When, oh when, will we privatize bank deposit insurance so that wealth can reign and trickle down upon us workers?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, one thing I can tell you
I was struck with an illness around Memorial Day, and had to go to the emergency room at the VA Hospital.

Got my bill recently: $16!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Wow! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. LOL
I almost fainted :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Well, at least you would have been in the right place. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Here's the specific story he's referencing:
VA Hospital May Have Exposed 1,800 Vets to HIV
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,595625,00.html

(Yes, I know it's Fox News, that's the link we're discussing)

What I see here, is that there was a problem where dental equipment was sterilized, but not to the manufacturer's specs, so people who had been treated were sent letters notifying them of the fact and telling them about free screening available to them. Nothing so far says that anyone was infected with HIV or anything else. And then, of course, the article goes on to include several other instances of problems that have occurred in VA hospitals.

My personal feeling is that these problems, while serious, are not much different from problems that happen in private hospitals all over the country. I'm trying to counter his perception that A)the VA system is bad across the board and B)it is bad because it is socialist.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Link it to a gun death story
Find a story where a person used a gun to kill some-one and then counter with the argument that because one person used a gun to kill some-one, the logical extension of the argument is that everyone with a gun is a killer.

Use the idiot's argument against him/her.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Not a bad idea :)
The thrust of his argument is all about how "socialism" is ruining America. So I'd like to be able to explain how the VA system compares to the private hospital system. I'm betting there is not too much difference, and that what difference there is goes in the VA's favor most of the time. But I'm having trouble finding the information to prove or disprove that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
8. Here's a little ammo, although it's from 2006.


How Veterans' Hospitals Became the Best in Health Care


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,137623...

"
Today it's a very different story. The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the country, with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing 14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses. And by a number of measures, this government-managed health-care program--socialized medicine on a small scale--is beating the marketplace."

"
For the sixth year in a row, VA hospitals last year scored higher than private facilities on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on patient surveys on the quality of care received. The VA scored 83 out of 100; private institutions, 71. Males 65 years and older receiving VA care had about a 40% lower risk of death than those enrolled in Medicare Advantage, whose care is provided through private health plans or HMOs, according to a study published in the April edition of Medical Care. Harvard University just gave the VA its Innovations in American Government Award for the agency's work in computerizing patient records."




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thanks! That's the sort of thing I'm looking for.
I actually found that one, and was looking for something more recent. The snag is that his article lists problems at VA hospitals that happened or were discovered between 2007 and 2009, so he'll probably blow off the piece from 2006, unfortunately.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Here's another report from 2007 and the CBO 2010 Report...
VA Tops Private Hospitals In Infection-Control Study

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/72836.php

VA Health Care System Rated Highly in Government Report

http://tucsoncitizen.com/medicare/2010/06/07/va-health-... /

The VA -- Best Care Anywhere (an update)

http://www.gooznews.com/node/3360

In study after study published in peer‐reviewed journals, the VA beats other health care providers on virtually every measure of quality. These include patient safety, adherence to the protocols of evidence medicine, integration of care, cost‐effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. The VA is also on the
leading edge of medical research, due to its close affiliation with the nation's
leading medical schools, where many VA doctors have faculty positions. The VA has its problems, but compared to those found elsewhere in the U.S. health care system, it offers "Best Care Anywhere."

For quality, it's hard to top veterans' health care

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-hard-to-top-vetera...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Excellent! Thank you. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
11. They've been excellent for me since 1980
I've been through extensive rehab at the Memphis VAMC after a spinal cord injury left me paralyzed from the high chest (T4) and used the Tampa VAMC when I moved. Both facilities were upgrading their SCI Clinics so I didn't get to use the "fancy" new facilities. I did visit the new SCI Clinic at Memphis and it looked very nice.

I currently use the Dallas VAMC and it is excellent. I've written letters to the Chief of Staff with praises for the quality of care that I've received. The doctors and nurses at the SCI Clinic are simply outstanding. Personable, knowledgeable and patient, they are what you'd hope to have when undergoing treatment (or just asking questions).

One thing that separates the VA system from private hospitals is that all of VA's problems are public knowledge. Unlike private hospitals they can't hide shortcomings or problems. Private hospitals expend a lot of energy (and money) to insure that no bad news spoils their PR. That's why you don't hear about the myriad problems vexing private hospitals throughout the country.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
qb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. All I have are my own anecdotes: My partner and I receive excellent care at the VA.
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 01:24 PM by qb
VA health care is far more proactive, preventative, and comprehensive than the crap care I used to get from the private system.
Another fact that may surprise some: Every time my partner has been hospitalized the staff have treated me like family. The VA does not practice anti-gay discrimination (in this regard. Spousal benefits are another issue).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. My son had flesh eating bacteria and it was life threatening
the hospital overcharged and his insurance didn't pay it all so they kicked him out and he was transferred to a VA hospital. Where he got better care and there was no charge....Isn't that a good example.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
15. WSJ: For quality, it's hard to top veterans' health care
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 03:53 PM by pinboy3niner
ETA: Just noticed that sinkingfeeling already provided this link (curse you, sinkingfeeling! :)). My bad! Coming from the conservative WSJ, this should be a good one to pass on to your friend.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
June 2, 2010, 12:01 a.m. EDT

For quality, it's hard to top veterans' health care
By Kristen Gerencher, MarketWatch


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)
-- Where can you find the highest quality health care in the U.S.? There isn't one single answer, but believe it or not, many studies and independent experts point to the Veterans Health Administration as among the best.
<snip>

Some other health systems also provide excellent patient care, and every place has it weaknesses, but the VA generally stands out on quality, said Elizabeth McGlynn, associate director of Rand Health, a division of the Rand Corp., in Santa Monica, Calif.

"You're much better off in the VA than in a lot of the rest of the U.S. health-care system," she said. "You've got a fighting chance there's going to be some organized, thoughtful, evidence-based response to dealing effectively with the health problem that somebody brings to them."

The combination of its information system and support tools, routine performance reporting and financial incentives for managers who hit quality targets gives it an edge, said McGlynn, who co-authored a comparative study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2004 that found the VA outperformed its community health-care counterparts by 20 percentage points in preventive care. It also performed significantly better on chronic disease care and in overall quality.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-hard-to-top-vetera...



The article notes the irony that the VA is ahead of the private sector in applying principles of supply and demand to provide a cost-efficient, quality health care system.

Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation and author of a book about the VA called "Best Care Anywhere," underscores that irony. He observes that the VA is run by a sprawling federal agency, has five public-sector labor unions and a patient population that tends to be older, sicker and poorer than average.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RoseMead Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. Thank you all for some very helpful replies.
Much appreciated! :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Jul 22nd 2014, 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC