South Dakota VA hospital achieves largest star rating improvement

The VA Black Hills Health Care System in Hot Springs achieved the greatest star ranking improvement of all Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals going from two stars to five, according to a VA end-of-fiscal-year report.

Since last year the number of one-star VA hospitals dropped from 14 to nine. Five hospitals remain at the bottom of the rankings for the third straight year.

The VA regularly scores 146 of its medical centers based on dozens of quality factors, including death and infection rates, instances of avoidable complications and wait times. The agency uses a five-star scale on which one is the worst and five the best.