The VA is the scariest of all health care systems–it’s paid for and run by the government! It probably has the efficiency of the postal service and the compassion of the military, right? You might be surprised. On many screening measures and actions shown to improve outcomes, the VA’s winning. Another piece from US News:
Three summers ago, Augustin Martinez’s skin was yellow. He was in pain. And physicians at Kaiser Permanente, his usual source of care, were baffled. The frustrated Martinez, a retired Lockheed Martin engineer in San Jose, Calif., asked his brother, a New York physician, for advice. After consulting colleagues, his brother advised him to go to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in nearby Palo Alto. Martinez, a former Navy petty officer 2nd class, was entitled to VA care (eligibility depends on several factors, including date and length of military service, injury, and income). But his brother’s recommendation took him by surprise. Better care at a VA hospital? But he went–and was quickly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by Sherry Wren, chief of general surgery, who operated on him within days. He has relied on VA hospitals and clinics ever since. “They run a good ship,” says Martinez, now age 72.
Yes, it’s just an anecdote. But Dr. Wren is a mentor, and they definitely run a good ship there.