Since reporting on the VA hospital scandals that plagued the Veteran’s Administration, this blog checks in with the VA healthcare system every year to report any improvements. This year, rather than rating the system based on metrics used to measure service efficiency, 2,400 veterans were asked about the care they were receiving at the VA hospitals.
What The Vets Say
76% of veterans surveyed rated the recent medical care they received at the VA at least adequate.
- 13% rated the care they received as excellent.
- 35% rated it as good.
- 28% thought the medical care was at least fair.
- Only 18% rated VA medical care as poor.
- The remaining 6% had no opinion.
According to the vets themselves, the VA has improved its healthcare services dramatically over the last two years.
The survey also revealed another interesting factor rarely considered in the past. The quality of VA services varies across the country.
The quality of the services a vet receives depends on where the veteran lives. Apparently, the interest of local communities has a profound effect on the quality of a veteran’s life. Local community support makes all the difference. Here's the list of the top ten veteran friendly cities selected by the vets:
- Chula Vista, California ranks No. 1 for veterans’ health care. Home to 16,125 veterans – nearly 6% of the population – the city is great for those who want to belong to a veteran community. It currently ranks among the top five cities in VA spending per veteran.
- Cleveland is home to a five-star VA hospital and allocates VA spending of $194.69 per veteran, the second highest budget in the nation.
- North Las Vegas shines in the areas of veteran population and low poverty rates. With 16,731 veterans – nearly 7% of the population – the rate of poverty is just 5.7%.
- St. Petersburg is home to more than 20,000 veterans and a VA budget that exceeds $1 million. The medical care budget is over $400,000, which means $22.67 is allocated per veteran. The city’s veteran poverty rate is 8.8%, which is lower than the city’s overall poverty rate of 15.9%.
- The Santa Ana California VA budgets $156.10 per veteran and spends $54.11 in medical care for each veteran, which is higher than all other cities in the top 10.
- Chandler, Arizona has one of the lowest veteran poverty rates at just 4.4 percent. The vets don't rank its hospital in the top ten but say it is getting better every year.
- The Steel City (Pittsburg) lands in the top ten cities for veterans’ health care because of its four-star VA hospital rating and high per-veteran medical care budget.
- With a veteran poverty rate of just 4.9% and relatively high per-veteran VA medical care budgets, Garland, Texas is a city where the well-being of veterans isn’t ignored.
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina excels in VA hospital quality, being one of the few cities to earn a five-star rating. The veteran poverty rate is 9.3%, which is significantly lower than the city’s general poverty rate of 23.3%.
- Like Cleveland, Cincinnati makes up for higher poverty rates by ensuring high-quality care for its 12,000 veterans. The city has earned a five-star VA hospital rating and is in the top third for per-veteran VA spending.
Our Take Away
- According to the Veterans Association, there are currently more than 19.5 million veterans living in America.
- VA medical services have made the long-awaited turn-around.
- Depending on where they live, some veterans rate their VA medical care as excellent.
- In addition to the top ten veteran cities listed above, the survey also found that when you consider veterans benefits, job opportunities, and veteran owned businesses, Orlando, Florida triumphed as the best major US city for veterans.
- The doom and gloom theme that dominated veterans’ affairs in the last few years has given way to acceptance, hope and gratitude among veterans