VA reports increase in number of appointments at VA Connecticut HCS facilities in August 2019

The VA Connecticut Health Care System scheduled 91,206 pending appointments across its nine locations in August 2019 compared to 84,815 the same month last year, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments in August 2019, 87,848 had a wait time of 30 days or less (96.3%) and 3,358 appointments (3.7%) were scheduled more than 30 days out.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2019 reported that wait times for new appointments at VA health care facilities were similar to or better than wait times at private-sector providers between 2014 and 2017.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), however, released a report in July 2019 that cautioned that the VA’s data-tracking system only captures part of the appointment process and fails to account for the time that it takes the VA to enroll veterans in its health benefits program.

At a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee after the report was released, Debra Draper, health care director at the GAO, said new patients may actually wait up to 70 days for an appointment when they first enroll for benefits.

The VA explains on its website that when veterans apply for benefits, they are assigned to one of eight priority groups, with those who need immediate care due to service-related disabilities placed in higher priority groups. Veterans who don’t have service-connected disabilities and who earn a higher income are placed in the lower priority groups.

VA Connecticut HCS Appointments Scheduled in August 2019 vs. August 2018
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2019
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2018
Percent change in number of appointments
West Haven
45,359
43,359
4.6%
Newington
38,025
34,352
10.7%
Waterbury
1,480
1,575
-6%
Stamford
1,510
1,410
7.1%
Willimantic
647
626
3.4%
Winsted
554
327
69.4%
Danbury
569
439
29.6%
New London
1,784
1,570
13.6%
West Haven
1,278
1,120
14.1%
Source: U.S. Veteran’s Administration

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Organizations in this Story

City of Stamford Danbury New London Newington Waterbury West Haven Willimantic Winsted

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