VA releases 2018 performance ratings for its hospitals

The Minneapolis VA Medical Center


By NIKKI WENTLING | Stars and Stripes | Published: October 3, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs released the newest performance ratings Wednesday for each of its 146 hospitals, citing improvements in the past year at some of its lowest-performing facilities.

The fiscal 2018 ratings include nine one-star hospitals, the lowest possible, down from 14 hospitals that received one-star ratings in 2017.

The ratings indicate each hospital’s quality of care and are based on data such as death rates, patient satisfaction and efficiency. In years past, the VA had withheld the data from the public. In 2016, the performance ratings were released under pressure that followed a USA Today investigation.

Overall, 38 hospitals improved their star ratings in 2018, 40 dropped in the ratings and 68 stayed the same as last year.


Five VA hospitals received one-star ratings in 2017 and 2018: Big Springs and El Paso, Texas; Loma Linda, Calif; Memphis, and Phoenix. Four other hospitals were added to the worst-rated this year: Montgomery, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

VA hospitals in Dublin, Ga.; Fresno, Calif.; Roseburg and White City, Ore.; Walla Walla, Wash.; Harlingen, Texas; Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Biloxi, Miss., improved enough from 2017 to get off the list of lowest-rated hospitals.

Eighteen hospitals received 5 stars in 2018, the best possible. Four of them are located in Pennsylvania.

“With closer monitoring and increased medical center leadership and support we have seen solid improvements at most of our facilities,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. ““There’s no doubt that there’s still plenty of work to do, but I’m proud of our employees, who work tirelessly to move VA in the right direction for veterans and taxpayers.”

Twitter: @nikkiwentling



Medical Center Star Rating (1 to 5) Improvement from 2017
Albuquerque 2 Improved
Albany 3 Greatly Improved
Ann Arbor 3 Improved
Baltimore 3 Improved
Bath 5 Improved
Birmingham 4 Improved
Bronx 4 Improved
Brooklyn 3 Improved
Central Iowa 4 Improved
Chicago 3 Improved
Cincinnati 5 Improved
Cleveland 5 Improved
Columbia MO 3 Improved
Columbia SC 2 Improved
Columbus 4 Improved
Connecticut 5 Improved
Danville 3 Improved
Denver 2 Improved
Detroit 3 Improved
Durham 3 Improved
East Orange 2 Improved
Erie 5 Improved
Fargo 4 Improved
Fort Wayne 2 Improved
Fresno 2 Improved
Gainesville 3 Improved
Grand Junction 4 Improved
Hines 3 Improved
Honolulu 2 Improved
Iowa City 3 Improved
Iron Mountain 5 Improved
Kansas City 2 Improved
Leavenworth 4 Improved
Lebanon 5 Improved
Lexington 4 Improved
Loma Linda 1 Improved
Los Angeles 3 Improved
Madison 5 Improved
Manchester 3 Improved
Marion IL 2 Improved
Martinsburg 2 Improved
Memphis 1 Improved
Montana 2 Improved
Mountain Home 4 Improved
Murfreesboro 2 Improved
Nashville 2 Improved
New Orleans 3 Improved
New York 4 Improved
Oklahoma City 2 Improved
Philadelphia 3 Improved
Pittsburgh 4 Improved
Prescott 2 Improved
Roseburg 2 Improved
Salem 5 Improved
Salisbury 3 Improved
Shreveport 3 Improved
St Cloud 5 Improved
St Louis 3 Improved
Temple 3 Improved
Topeka 3 Improved
Wichita 4 Improved
Dallas 2 Improved
Indianapolis 3 Improved
Puget Sound 2 Improved
San Francisco 3 Improved
Tuscaloosa 3 Improved
White River 3 Improved
Amarillo 4 Greatly Improved
Asheville 5 Greatly Improved
Battle Creek 2 Greatly Improved
Big Spring 1 Greatly Improved
Buffalo 4 Greatly Improved
Canandaigua 4 Greatly Improved
Clarksburg 4 Greatly Improved
Dublin 3 Greatly Improved
El Paso 1 Greatly Improved
Hot Springs 5 Greatly Improved
Huntington 4 Greatly Improved
Jackson 2 Greatly Improved
Las Vegas 2 Greatly Improved
Little Rock 3 Greatly Improved
Northampton 5 Greatly Improved
Sacramento 3 Greatly Improved
Saginaw 5 Greatly Improved
San Antonio 3 Greatly Improved
Sheridan 4 Greatly Improved
Togus 5 Greatly Improved
Walla Walla 2 Greatly Improved
West Palm 3 Greatly Improved
Wilmington 3 Greatly Improved
Harlingen 2 Greatly Improved
Perry Point 3 Greatly Improved
Portland 3 Greatly Improved
Spokane 3 Greatly Improved
White City 3 Greatly Improved
Alexandria 2 Trivial Change
Altoona 4 Trivial Change
Anchorage 3 Trivial Change
Atlanta 1 Trivial Change
Augusta 2 Trivial Change
Bay Pines 3 Trivial Change
Beckley 2 Trivial Change
Bedford 5 Trivial Change
Boise 3 Trivial Change
Boston 4 Trivial Change
Charleston 4 Trivial Change
Cheyenne 2 Trivial Change
Chillicothe 4 Trivial Change
Coatesville 5 Trivial Change
Dayton 3 Trivial Change
Fayetteville AR 3 Trivial Change
Fayetteville NC 2 Trivial Change
Fort Meade 3 Trivial Change
Gulf Coast HCS 2 Trivial Change
Hampton 2 Trivial Change
Houston 3 Trivial Change
Hudson Valley 3 Trivial Change
Lake City 2 Trivial Change
Long Beach 2 Trivial Change
Louisville 3 Trivial Change
Miami 3 Trivial Change
Milwaukee 3 Trivial Change
Minneapolis 4 Trivial Change
Montgomery 1 Trivial Change
Muskogee 2 Trivial Change
North Chicago 4 Trivial Change
Northport 3 Trivial Change
Omaha 4 Trivial Change
Orlando 3 Trivial Change
Palo Alto 2 Trivial Change
Phoenix 1 Trivial Change
Poplar Bluff 3 Trivial Change
Providence 3 Trivial Change
Reno 3 Trivial Change
Richmond 4 Trivial Change
Salt Lake City 3 Trivial Change
San Diego 3 Trivial Change
San Juan 2 Trivial Change
Sioux Falls 4 Trivial Change
Syracuse 3 Trivial Change
Tampa 4 Trivial Change
Tomah 3 Trivial Change
Tucson 1 Trivial Change
Washington 1 Trivial Change
Wilkes Barre 3 Trivial Change
Butler 5 Large Decline

Highest-rated (five-star)

Asheville, N.C.
Bath, N.Y.
Bedford, Mass.
Butler, Pa.
Coatesville, Pa.
Erie, Pa.
Hot Springs, S.D.
Iron Mountain, Mich.
Lebanon, Pa.
Madison, Wisc.
Northhampton, Mass.
Saginaw, Mich.
Salem, Va.
St. Cloud, Minn.
Togus, Maine

Lowest-rated (one-star)

Big Spring, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Loma Linda, Calif.
Montgomery, Ala.
Tucson, Ariz.
Washington, D.C.