Audit: Over 57,000 awaiting initial VA visit
The Veterans Affairs Department says more than 57,000 patients are still waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them. An additional 64,000 who enrolled in the VA health care system over the past 10 years have never had appointments.
Nearly 275 of those patients waiting were in Indiana, the audit showed. More than 230 others who enrolled in the past decade in Indiana never got an appointment.
The department says an audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics found that the agency's complicated appointment process created confusion among scheduling clerks and supervisors. The audit says a 14-day goal for seeing first-time patients was unattainable given the growing demand among veterans for health care and poor planning. The VA has since abandoned that goal.
The audit released Monday says 13 percent of VA schedulers reported supervisors telling them to falsify appointment dates to make waiting times appear shorter.
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