APNewsBreak: Long Waits Under VA’s Private Health Program

Posted at 1:29 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 13:29:38-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — A health care program being expanded by the Trump administration to give veterans greater access to private doctors has failed to provide care within 30 days as promised due to faulty data and poor record-keeping that could take years to remedy. That’s according to a government investigation.

The Government Accountability Office found veterans often waited between 51 and 64 days for appointments with private doctors under the Choice program. The scheduling process took as long as 70 days.

The report blamed bureaucratic inefficiency and understaffing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 1 out of 10 cases it reviewed, the VA also had entered incorrect starting dates used to measure wait times.

President Donald Trump is to sign legislation Wednesday to expand Choice as an alternative to the VA system.