Michigan Outperforms National Average on VA Appointment Wait Times, but Still Shows Significant Delays
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) August 11, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently reported that, statewide, 92 percent of Michigan VA patients get appointments in less than a month. National data suggests that, nationwide, only 89 percent of patients are seen in less than 30 days.
Not everyone regards the data as encouraging. “These numbers have been met with widespread confusion and disbelief,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans disability attorney. “Even if the numbers are accurate, this report makes it clear that there are still far too many Michigan veterans waiting for care.”
According to the latest data, more than 13,000 Michigan veterans are currently forced to wait longer than a month for medical care. The largest facility in Michigan, the VA medical center in Ann Arbor, was the worst performer in the state, falling behind national averages on most data points.
However, facilities in Saginaw, Detroit and Iron Mountain showed better results. Saginaw led the state with only five percent of patients waiting more than 30 days, and less than one percent of patients waiting longer than 60 days.
Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson has announced an aggressive national plan to replace VA scheduling software, which the department describes as “aging.” This initiative is just one part of a major effort to improve the speed and quality of health care for veterans nationwide.
The national data on appointment wait times, which include specific data for every VA medical facility in the country, was first reported by the VA on June 9. The information is updated every two weeks. The reports are available on the VA Access Audit page of the national VA website.
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