Salisbury VA Health Care System announces Level 1a Highest Complexity Facility upgrade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 16, 2023


SALISBURY — The Salisbury VA Health Care System announced today its upgrade to a Level 1a Highest Complexity Facility by the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Office of Productivity, Efficiency and Staffing (OPES) as a result of a regularly scheduled fiscal year review, effective Oct. 1.

The upgrade from Level 1b High Complexity to Level 1a Highest Complexity represents only those VHA facilities with the highest volume; highest risk patients; most complex clinical programs; and largest research and teaching programs.

“This update by the Veterans Health Administration confirms what our entire team already knows to be true: Veterans in the Central Piedmont receive the highest quality care when they choose VA,” said Charles “Dave” Collins, interim executive director of the Salisbury VA Health Care System. “Staff at our Charlotte, Kernersville, and Salisbury locations are committed to taking care of our Veterans with the Whole Health continuum of care. We are eager to maintain our Level 1a Complexity rating over the coming years.”

According to OPES, the VHA Facility Complexity Model was adopted for use in 1989 and runs every three years on behalf of the VHA’s Health Care Delivery Council.

The Complexity Index is broken into five levels — 1a, 1b, 1c, 2, and 3 — ranging from highest complexity to lowest complexity. The model is descriptive, not intended to be prescriptive or predictive, and is meant to describe the state of the VA at a certain point in time.

The model considers three main sources in its ratings: patient population, clinical services complexity, and education and research.

One of the leading figures attributing to Salisbury VA’s upgrade to a Level 1a Facility was in its patient population numbers.

For fiscal year 2023, Salisbury VA’s pro-rated patient (PRP) statistic rose to 82,747.5 — good for the 19th overall ranking in VHA.

This was a dramatic increase from the last model data in fiscal year 2019, which accounted for 77,842.22 in PRP. Overall, this was an increase of 6.3 percent for Salisbury VA, compared to a national increase in PRP of only 1.9 percent for fiscal year 2023.

The updated PRP statistic is representative of Salisbury VA’s unique patient population count, which has steadily climbed every year since fiscal year 2020, resulting in the highest unique patient number — over 100,000 veterans — amongst its network peer VA health care systems.

For the VHA’s Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6), Salisbury VA now joins the Durham VA and Richmond VA health care systems as the only Level 1a Complexity Facilities in the region — among only 38 total Level 1a VHA Facilities nationwide.

Salisbury VA was also one of only four total VHA facilities upgraded from Level 1b High Complexity to Level 1a Highest Complexity for fiscal year 2023.

Learn more about the Salisbury VA Health Care System at