People who have been discharged honorably from the military sometimes have to rely on medical care from the Veterans’ Administration. Unfortunately, veterans in New Mexico might be receiving substandard care if they are going to the VA Hospital here. The hospital in Albuquerque slipped recently from a two-star rating to a one-star rating, which is the lowest possible.

The chief of the hospital says that veterans are receiving high-quality care at his facility; however, the slip in the rating tell another story. On the flip side, the hospital gets high ratings for patient satisfaction on surveys. This is rather shocking and brings up the question about what level of care these patients expect.

The star system for the VA uses a five-star maximum. Factors like the death rate, wait times and infection rates are all included in the ratings. This paints a pretty scary picture for the patients who are seen by the facility. Hospital-acquired infections associated with central lines and catheters were especially troubling,

Complications within the hospital are one issue that the hospital has to face. In the third quarter of 2016, the hospital scored 1.293 for these complications. This was a higher rate than the benchmark rate, which was .446. This is bad news for this hospital.

The in-hospital complication rate wasn’t the only area that needed improvement. The cardiovascular, surgical and neurologic readmission rates were close to or above twice the benchmark.

For the patients who don’t receive the care they need in the hospital, seeking compensation might be possible. Hospital negligence is a huge problem that can have catastrophic effects.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, “Rating for VA hospital fell in 2016,” Colleen Heild, Dec. 23, 2016