VA: audit flags Lebanon facility for follow-up by investigators
Ben Allen | 06.09.14
The Department of Veterans Affairs has found that in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia facility has the most new enrollees waiting 60 days or more for an appointment. The report also flags the Lebanon VA Medical Center for follow up by investigators.
The audit released today says the Philadelphia VA had 1,141 new enrollees wait more than 60 days for an appointment, while Pittsburgh had 443.
98 percent of the patients at the Lebanon VA had appointments scheduled within 30 days, and the average wait time for a new patient is about 24 days, according to the audit.
At the Wilkes-Barre, Coatesville and Erie VA 99 percent of all appointments were scheduled in under 30 days, compared to 98 percent at the Pittsburgh VA and 94 percent at the Philadelphia VA.
The audit found that several VA centers in Pennsylvania, including Lebanon, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, will require additional review and further actions. The audit does not specify what investigators will look for at the sites facing further review.
Nationally 13 percent of VA schedulers reported supervisors telling them to falsify appointment dates to make waiting times appear shorter.
What has your experience been with the VA?
As many as 40 veterans died waiting for treatment on a waiting list in Arizona, but more than two dozen are also under investigation for having secret waiting lists (one of those is reportedly in Pennsylvania).
Problems at the VA aren't new, as the Inspector General has issued 18 reports on wait times since just 2005.
Yet veterans rate the VA's care, and benefits, highly. This is where you come in. For an upcoming story as part of WITF's Transforming Health, I want to hear what kind of experience you have had with the VA. Have you had to wait a long time? Have you been very happy with the care you got? What other parts of this story should be covered?