Maryland looks to Connecticut for health exchange answers – The Washington Post

In the VAs 2010 national survey of veterans, 16 percent of respondents said they use the system as their primary source of health care, while 35 percent said they use it as a safety net and 32 percent indicated they have no plans to use it. ( Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Patient-satisfaction: Despite its recent troubles, the VA health system has earned marks equal to or better than networks in the private sector in the 2013American Customer Satisfaction Index . The health system earned overall satisfaction indexes of 84 for inpatient care and 82 for outpatient services, while the U.S. hospital industry earned scores of 80 and 83 in those categories, respectively. Jacob Gadd, the American Legions deputy director for health care, has said the scores probably reflect pride among veterans that theres a system for them that understands their unique needs. Gadd has also credited the VA with bolstering satisfaction levels through new initiatives such as the networks patient-aligned care teams, which provide personalized care from groups of health professionals that fit patients individual needs. A history of scheduling problems:In 2010, a top VA official issued a memo to the departments medical centers listing 17 schemes that VA clinics were known to be using tocover-up treatment delays. The memo said the practices were inappropriate and would not be tolerated, but whistleblowers claim the actions continued for years.

Many employees hit with higher health care premiums

Health care premiums

1. Marylands early promise dissolved, however, as contractors and subcontractors fought over work and money. The system was so unstable that officials debated delaying the launch. OMalley made the final decision. He told the exchange managers to flip the switch. On the morning of Oct. 1, Connecticuts staff gathered around large monitors in their office. As they watched traffic to their site steadily build, and the number of residents enrolled in health insurance plans grow, some became emotional.

( Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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