The Veterans Affairs Department is limiting the types of surgeries performed at some of its hospitals following a review of surgical deaths at its hospital in southern Illinois.
Under a new system, the VA has given each hospital a "surgical complexity" level.
Because of that, hospitals in at least five states, Louisiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois and Washington state, will now only perform less-complicated surgeries.
The VA will pick up the tab for patients who have surgeries performed elsewhere.
In 2007, inpatient surgeries in Marion, Ill., were suspended after a patient bled to death following a gallbladder surgery. Investigators later determined that multiple deaths resulted from substandard care at that hospital.