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VA Cites Improvements at Five 'High Risk' Hospitals

WASHINGTON -- Five low-performing Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals have improved enough in the past six months to no longer qualify as high risk, the VA announced Tuesday.

The VA hospitals in Dublin, Ga.; Harlingen, Texas; Roseburg, Ore., Nashville and Denver were removed from high-risk status based on new performance statistics released Tuesday.

The statistics, called the Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, or SAIL, score hospitals based on 25 categories, including patient satisfaction, overall efficiency and death rates. The scorecards are used to rank hospitals using a star system -- one star being the worst and five the best.

Last year, 15 hospitals, including the facilities in Dublin, Harlingen, Nashville, Roseburg and Denver, received one-star ratings. The VA in February announced an "aggressive new approach" to improving those hospitals, which included more direct oversight from VA headquarters.

At the 15 hospitals, 26 managers and senior leaders were removed -- a result of "close scrutiny of performance trends," said VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour.

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