VA medical centers in Memphis and Jackson, Miss. are among the 15 lowest performing VA facilities nationwide targeted for “rapid improvements,” the federal agency announced this week.
Many Alcorn County veterans use the VA in Memphis.
An “aggressive” approach to quickly improve those VA medical facilities was unveiled this week by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA medical facilities in Memphis and Jackson have been identified as low-performing because they received the lowest rating of one star out of five in the agency’s rating system, a VA news release said.
Steps being taken to improve the facilities include appointing a VA official, Dr. Peter Almenoff, to oversee improvement at the centers. This is intended to provide centralized leadership on a national level to ensure accountability.
The VA will also use a “rigorous and formal approach based on clinical performance indicators” to identify vulnerabilities and set targets for improvement. Statistical tools will track progress, and improvement coaches will be dispatched to the centers to help meet goals when needed.
The VA Central Office will review the low-performing facilities quarterly. If improvements are not being made, prompt action, including changing the medical center’s leadership, will be taken.
Other than the VA medical centers in Memphis and Jackson, other one-star facilities are in Hampton, Va., Harlingen, Texas, Roseburg, Ore., Washington, D.C., Big Spring, Texas, Denver, Colo., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., Phoenix, Ariz., Walla Walla, Wash., Dublin, Ga., El Paso, Texas and Loma Linda, Calif.
“President Trump has made it clear that our veterans deserve only the best when it comes to their healthcare, and that’s why we are focusing on improving our lowest performing facilities nationwide,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “We will employ tight timelines for facilities to demonstrate improvement, and if low performance persists, we will make swift changes — including replacing facility leaders — until we achieve the rapid improvements that veterans and taxpayers expect from VA.”
Click here to read the VA news release.