Dec 09, 2016 10:33 AM EST

Secret VA Medical Center Quality Ratings Exposed; Agency Opts Against Hurting Veteran Feelings

By Inah Mallare
VA Secretary Robert McDonald Testifies To Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee On Future Of Department

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14: Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald (L) and VA Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin testify before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. The VA leaders testifies about the future of the VA following the publication of the Commission on Care Report.
(Photo : Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Department of Veteran Affairs has been hiding their VA quality ratings for a long time and 150 medical centers are affected. The secret VA quality ratings are finally released for public viewing along with an explanation as to why it was hidden in the first place.

The secret VA Medical Center quality ratings have been hidden for almost 150 medical centers and the cat is finally out of the bag. Apparently, the VA explains that it is simply a rating tool for internal use, which one of the reasons it was kept private. 

According to a report by RT, the facilities use the VA quality ratings for internal use only and exposing the information to the public eye may "hurt" the veterans. The tool apparently rates between one and five stars solely based on performance. As per the recently exposed secret VA quality ratings, Tennessee and Texas have the lowest ratings, while VA centers in Dallas, El Paso, Nashville, Memphis, and Murfreesboro have only one star in their ratings. 

However, it is not all bad news, as there are a few VA medical centers that have five stars in their VA quality ratings, including facilities located in New York, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The exposed VA Quality ratings are from USA Today and are available from June 30. It is worth mentioning that only those facilities that received one star and five stars were exposed to the public eye, while those in between are kept private. 

Furthermore, the main reason that led to the VA's decision to keep medical centers' quality ratings a secret is to avoid hurting the feelings of veterans. For instance, the veterans who religiously get care from a medical center may stop going there for the treatment they need because of a one-star rating. In the long run, exposing such ratings may cause health problems due to veteran refusal. Whereas the ratings are only for internal purposes to begin with.

The VA medical center quality rating is strictly an internal improvement tool and should not cause veterans to stop getting care from poorly rated centers. Stay tuned to Jobs & Hirea for more of the latest news. 

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