By Travis J. Tritten, Stars & Stripes: WASHINGTON — More than 57,000 veterans have been waiting more than three months for requested health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a department audit released Monday.
The VA audit blamed a lack of providers and an “overly complicated” scheduling process for the breakdown in timely care at 731 hospitals and clinics nationwide.
Also, about 70 percent of those VA facilities used off-the-books patient waiting lists at least once, and management pressured staff in some cases to manipulate appointments to make waits appear shorter, the audit confirmed.
The VA rushed out the audit under pressure from Congress and veteran groups. The findings provide the first detailed look — at least from the department’s own perspective — at patient wait times at individual facilities since allegations in April that up to 40 patients died awaiting care at a Phoenix VA hospital. To read full article, click here: http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/audit-57-000-veterans-waiting-more-than-90-days-to-be-seen-at-va-1.287961