- CMS has announced the availability of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital performance data on its Hospital Compare website.
- It said further VA hospital data would be added to the site in December and that plans are in progress for "future seamless integration" to make it possible for consumers to compare VA and civilian hospital data.
- The announcement follows controversial news reports indicating CMS had previously included VA hospital data, but that the VA had stopped submitting its data for several months over the summer because it was told the two agencies needed to arrange a new data sharing agreement.
The matter of the VA's data sharing renewed concerns around the agency's transparency, which have dogged it ever since its wait time scandal erupted in 2014, resulting in discussion of increased agency oversight and other changes to improve veterans' timely and reasonable access to healthcare.
The VA had begun sharing patient satisfaction and quality data in 2008 and specifically announced it was sharing with Hospital Compare in 2011, according to Law Firm Newswire. The agency was required by law in 2014 to share even more data following the wait time scandal.
Joe Francis, VA's director of clinical analytics and reporting, had said they stopped sending data on the request of HHS lawyers and called the situation "deeply frustrating."
The available VA data will now include satisfaction survey results, outcomes measures, behavioral health measures, and patient safety measures, CMS announced.