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Comment & Response
October 2017

Open VA Data Sets to Non-VA Researchers

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire
  • 2Research Service, VA Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(10):1541. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4192

To the Editor There is debate about whether patient outcomes at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities are comparable to those at other facilities1; such information may inform what role VA should have in US health care.2

In a Research Letter in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Blay et al3 compared the performance of 129 VA hospitals to 4010 non-VA hospitals based on data from 2012 to 2015 sourced from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare program. With hospital-level data, Blay et al,3 who do not have VA affiliations, found that VA hospitals had considerably lower 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rates and modestly lower 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure (CHF).

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