VA makes little headway in effort to cut waits for care

Daily News Article - April 13, 2015


1. a) What is the VA’s timeliness goal?
b) Why has the VA established this goal? (See “Background” below the questions for the answer.)

2. Answer the following about wait times for veterans at VA medical facilities.  How many:
a) failed to be seen within 30 days
b) appointment took longer than 60 days
c) medical appointments that take longer than 90 days to complete

3. a) How much money did Congress give the VA in August to shorten waits for medical care for vets?
b) What three improvements was the money to be used for?

4. a) How many VA medical facilities are there across the country?
b) Forty-seven of the 75 facilities where the highest percentage of patients were found to wait more than 30 days for care were in the south (with a few between Albuquerque and Colorado Springs). Those 47 clinics and hospitals are about 5% of all VA facilities. What percent of appointments that took longer than 60 days to complete were found to be in those facilities?

5. Why is it difficult to evaluate whether the VA has improved wait times under the new method they use to measure wait times?

6. a) VA Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sloan Gibson attempted to explain they the VA is improving and asked for patience. Should the American people and the veterans themselves who are awaiting medical treatment continue to be patient? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent: what do you think would be the best solution for this problem?

7. What do you think should be done about the fact that VA facilities in the South still do not give vets the timely service they deserve?