An Associated Press analysis finds some veterans are waiting longer than the VA’s 30 day goal for a medical appointment. But at the Providence VA, just two percent of appointments fail to meet that goal. That's an improvement from six months ago, when about six percent of wait times failed to meet the timeliness goal.
An audit released by the VA finds patients at the Providence VA Medical Center have some of the longest average waits in the nation to receive primary care. The Providence VA said that’s due to staff who retired and an increase in patients at its clinic in Hyannis, MA.
New patients receiving their first primary care appointments waited an average of about 74 days, according to the VA audit. Only seven other facilities across the country had longer waits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has conducted audits of medical centers around the country after allegations emerged that some centers had concealed appointment wait times. The Providence VA was audited on Friday last week.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki ordered the audits to uncover any other scheduling problems or misconduct. Providence VA spokeswoman Leslie Pierson says auditors spent all day Friday interviewing staff about scheduling practices.