USA Today Says Many Veterans Still Fight VA Wait Lists

VA Wait Lists

Benjamin KrauseUSA Today just uncovered that many veterans still fight VA wait lists for access to timely receipt of health care despite claims that VA is doing great fixing itself. As of October, dozens of hospitals and clinics have left 25% or more veterans waiting more than 30 days.

Overall, the number of veterans waiting four months or more has dropped from a shameful 120,000 veterans to a still shameful 23,000 veterans. While the improvements are a step in the right direction, they still show us that VA is incapable of quickly resolving problems regardless of how much money America throws at the agency.

The high numbers and lingering problems at certain locations indicate VA has room to improve even beyond pushing more veteran patients through the doors. It is a management problem.

According to USA Today:

  • Some facilities still have extremely long wait times for basic care, including 64 that have average wait times over 60 days for new patients seeking primary care. They include major facilities, such as hospitals in Baltimore; Jacksonville, Fla.; Temple, Texas, and Atlanta. All have at least 30,000 pending appointments.​
  • In Jacksonville, the average new patient is left waiting 77 days, a fact that previously obscured in the VA’s data because it was averaged into the much-better performance of the nearby Gainesville hospital. Jacksonville only sees two-thirds of its patients within 30 days, the worst rate of any major facility in the VA system.
  • Ten facilities reported waits of more than three months for a new patient to see a specialist. At the top of the list: the Westmoreland, Pa., clinic, where patients are waiting 174 days — nearly six months — for a specialty appointment.
  • Thirty-three facilities have kept new patients seeking a mental-health appointments waiting for at least two months. Among those are large hospitals in Martinsburg, W.Va., Amarillo, Texas, and Tuskegee, Ala. And 10 clinics and hospitals kept established patients waiting at least three weeks longer than the patients wanted for mental health appointments.
  • Some small locations have big waiting times, too. The Wagner, S.D., clinic near the Nebraska state line, has only 155 total appointments of any type pending — and its new patient wait time is 153 days.

The fact that only certain locations have problems indicates the wait list problem has more to do with VA mismanagement and staff problems versus general funding issues.

Again, just how many more billions does Congress need to throw at the agency to encourage these holdout VA health care locations to do right by our nation’s veterans?

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  1. i SENT A MESSAGE THRU MyHealthEvet Secure message system. Putting it directly into my file. That I have been waiting to see my Neurology Spec. Sense Aug. 17 -14 I have an appointment Dec. 15-14 I was fresh from watching Jeff Miller`s Website As Gibson said under oath that they have knocked the Appt. time to 30 days OR Send them to local Care as I also Live 400 miles Round trip from my Appt. In Ok City. V.A..
    I mentioned the 40 mile limit. and That My appt. Was not 30 days or even 90 days. I also asked how to get that 1st choice card, They are saying they have sent to 36000 vets. I`ve been “Enrolled” in the V.A. Healthcare System for over 43 years.
    Rep. Brown the Black lady was telling Gibson how much his work has helped the Vets, Gibson, Replied “Sec. McDonald said I was`nt going anywhere, So it looks like I`m here for good” I thought: I would`nt be so sure. He has REFUSED To Fire Helman saying It was against Council`s Advice. To just Fire her. Even with the Accountability “LAW” that gives that power. despite any appeal To “Cut her off the hefty payroll Check she Continues to receive on “Leave”

    My message will probably be a “Shot in the foot” for rocking the boat. See ya`ll on the other side.

  2. Here is a solution: Close down all VA Hospitals and allow Veterans to find the care they need and VA can be a new billing process center to cover the cost of treatment. The VA will never be fixed. The VA healthcare has been screwed up for over 20 years now. No one at the VA is willing to take responsibility for anything but if I seek out my own healthcare I can hold my own private free market healthcare provider responsible by firing them myself and find another healthcare provider if healthcare is substandard. Phase it in over a 3 to 5 year period so it will not be a shock to the VA system and allow the VA healthcare workers time to re-integrate into the free market healthcare system where they will be held accountable.

  3. I absolutely agree with all these veterans. becuse iam in the same postion at long beach va ca, Theirs this lady supervisor thats demanding that i get my treatment at the va in long beach ca, which dosent offer the Proton beam therapy treatment at that facility. ive asked her why she is doing this. so i turned her in to the pateint advocates officer at the va in long beach ca .

  4. I requested a C&P appointment at the Grand Junction VA in June after total knee replacement there in early April. In October, I asked the VSO why I hadn’t heard anything. He called the Denver Regional Office…nothing had been done to schedule the appointment. I received a letter finally in early November for an appointment on Nov. 14th. I went to the appointment expecting my knee to be examined, and the doc said the appointment was for sleep apnea, which I never claimed. I talked with the VSO this morning and found out the doctor followed none of the VA’s procedures for a C&P for knee replacement, and did not do the questionnaire that is also required. I waited over 4 months to be examined for the wrong condition.

  5. It is not the $$$$$, it is the LACK OF RESPECT Vets Get when they apply for Health Care. And even after the long wait, we are rushed through like cattle so the VA can justify some QUOTA.
    Why not OUTSOURCE ? I have been hearing about this, but have yet to be able to take advantage of it without WAITING until the VA sends the APPROVAL. There are HOSPITALS in my area, why can’t I use them, NON-VA.

  6. Bull Cookies!! They hand out Appts. all right and then The V.A. Dr.’s are not there 1/4th of the time and IF they are there .. they are late by at least 10 to 15 and rush you through allowing Veterans 10 to 15 min. to talk about “your Health Issue! Dr.’s SELDOM take more that a MINIMAL of NOTES and then when you go back to see them again they usually say: “Mr./Mrs. Veteran, um, I don’t recall your ever speaking about this/these issues during our last Appt.” Then ‘something always seems to come up’ and they rush you out earlier that your Appt. is OVER by 10 min.!! W.T.F.??

    1. Unfortunately, you’ll die before that happens. And it applies to the whole federal government. Anyone tried to reach any department by phone? Rarely happens. I’ve tried DFAS, SSA, Tricare, and more, and no answer, no call back, nadda, zilch.

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