Veteran trust in VA Providence up to 93.6%

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that Veteran trust in the VA Providence Healthcare system has risen to 93.6% – up from 91.7% in 2018.

Nationally, trust in VA outpatient care increased to 91.8%, up from 85.6% in 2018, according to a news release. The finding is based on a survey of patients who received VA health care in the past 90 days. Within one week of VA services veterans were asked whether they trusted VA for their health care needs across several categories including scheduling an appointment, health care visits, in-person pharmacy, mail-order pharmacy, labs/imaging and veteran safety.

“We at VA work to earn the trust of veterans every day, in every part of the country, every time they come to us for their care,” said VA secretary Denis McDonough. “We’re proud that more than 91% of Veterans now trust VA health care, but we still have work to do. By measuring Veteran trust, we can not only learn what we’re doing well at VA – we can also learn how to get better.”

The survey reflects findings of other independent studies. According to Medicare’s latest nationwide survey of patients, VA hospitals outperformed non-VA hospitals on 10 patient satisfaction metrics including overall hospital rating, communication with doctors, communication about medication, willingness to recommend the hospital, and more. Also, VA health care has outperformed non-VA care for veterans in peer-reviewed studies, overall quality ratings and affordability, according to a news release.

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“Delivering world-class health care begins with trust,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal“Whenever a veteran walks into a VA facility, we want them to know that we are going to take care of them. That’s the standard to which we hold ourselves, and we’ll never settle for anything less.”

The news comes as the VA recently set an all-time record for health care provided in 2023 with 401,006 Veterans in VA health care over the past 365 days, a 30% increase from the previous year. This is also the highest number of enrollees in a single year the VA reported in the last five years and a 50% over enrollment in 2020.

“We have a great team here at VA Providence,” said Lawrence Connel, Director of VA Providence Health Care, “everyone here puts veterans first – resulting in outstanding care.”

The VA has attributed its increased enrollment to the PACT Act, which was signed by President Joseph R. Biden as a part of the Unity Agenda and allowed the VA to expand health care and benefits to millions of veterans. Also, the VA is conducting an outreach campaign including hosting more than 2,600 events since the PACT Act was enacted and a more than $16 million advertising campaign, using public service announcements and text messages for the first time to encourage enrollment in VA health care.

The VA also expanded health care eligibility for veterans, including to all World War II veterans. As of March 5, veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving and meet requirements are eligible to directly enroll in VA health care. This means all Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror or any other post-9/11 combat zone can enroll directly without applying for benefits. Also, those who never were deployed but exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty in the U.S. are eligible.

For more information about VA care, visit VA’s health care website. For more information about Veteran trust in VA, visit the VA trust website.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Castellani@PBN.com.