An internal audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Monday detailed the extent of medical care delays within VA across the system. According to the report, more than 57,000 patients have been waiting more than three months for medical appointments and an additional 64,000 patients requested medical care but never made it onto VA waiting lists. Additionally, the audit of the 731 VA facilities concluded that there was at least one instance of manipulated wait times data in 76 percent of VA’s hospitals and clinics.
Interim VA Secretary Sloan Gibson has said he will spend $300 million to increase hours for VA medical staffers and contract with private clinics to increase veterans’ accessibility to care. Additionally, Secretary Gibson has said he will institute new patient satisfaction surveys and eliminate the 14-day scheduling goal for appointments. Separately, several bills are being considered in Congress to address access to medical care in VA. The American Society of Anesthesiologists will continue to closely monitor this situation and related legislation.
You can find more information about this audit in this article by the Washington Post.