As St. Louis VA Rises in Quality Rankings, McCaskill Praises Improvements

St. Louis region improved to 3-Star rating, jumps 54 spots in annual VA rankings; Senator: ‘This report rings true to what we’ve been hearing firsthand from Missouri veterans…but that doesn’t mean our work is done’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, a longtime advocate for improving conditions and quality of care at the St. Louis VA facilities, praised ratings recently released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that rank the St. Louis VA Health Care System one of the most improved facilities in the country—improving to a 3-Star rating and moving up 54 spots in the rankings. This improvement tracks with what has been reported by Missouri veterans that have participated in McCaskill’s annual confidential veterans ‘secret shopper’ program.

“This report rings true to what we’ve been hearing firsthand from Missouri veterans, that for the past couple of years there’s been critical improvements at the St. Louis VA facilities—but that doesn’t mean our work is done,” said McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran. “I’m proud of all those at the St. Louis VA who’ve worked hard to help turn things around and ensure the care provided to our veterans is top-notch and to the standards they deserve, and I’ll keep working hard to achieve that goal with them.”

McCaskill has been a longtime advocate for ensuring veterans receive the healthcare and benefits they’ve earned and deserve. McCaskill, who helped lead bipartisan efforts to have a permanent director installed at the St. Louis VA Health Care System, launched a veteran secret shopper program, known as the Veterans’ Customer Satisfaction Program (VCSP), in 2011 amid reports of problems with medical care at John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

When she began her veterans survey seven years ago, confidence in St. Louis VA facilities was low and satisfaction levels demonstrated several areas in need of improvement. This year’s reportreleased in May, continued the positive trend from the past four reporting cycles, showing consistent and steady improvement in many areas, including cleanliness and wait times at the St. Louis VA facilities.

Continuing her work fighting for Missouri’s veterans, McCaskill supported the VA Mission Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Last August, PresidenTrump signed McCaskill’s Arla Harrell Act—named after a 90-year-old Missouri veteran who was intentionally exposed to mustard gas during World War II. Since then, nearly $2 million in previously denied claims were awarded to World War II veterans who had been intentionally exposed to mustard gas.

Veterans can visit to offer confidential feedback on their Missouri VA experiences.