57K Veterans Still Waiting for Care, Audit Finds

And another 64K have never seen a doctor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2014 1:38 PM CDT
57K Veterans Still Waiting for Care, Audit Finds
This April 28, 2014 file photos shows the Phoenix VA Health Care Center in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The Department of Veterans Affairs' problems extend far beyond its much-maligned Phoenix facility, a new audit has confirmed. In a review of 731 hospitals, investigators found that more than 57,000 patients have been waiting up to 90 days for an appointment, and that another 64,000 had enrolled for VA healthcare, but never seen a doctor. What's more, 13% of schedulers reported being ordered by management to falsify appointment dates to meet performance goals, and 8% said they used off-the-record waiting lists, the AP reports.

The audit concluded that the department's 14-day wait target for newly-enrolled veterans was "simply not attainable," and that basing managers' compensation on meeting it was "an organizational leadership failure." In response to the findings, the VA eliminated all performance bonuses for its senior management for this year, CNN reports. (More Department of Veterans Affairs stories.)

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