VA reports decrease in number of appointments at VA Puget Sound HCS facilities in August 2019

The VA Puget Sound Health Care System scheduled 84,246 pending appointments across its eight locations in August 2019 compared to 89,105 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, 74,323 had a wait time of 30 days or less (88.2%) and 9,923 appointments (11.8%) 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 Puget Sound 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
Seattle
40,331
42,305
-4.7%
Tacoma
32,941
34,770
-5.3%
Bellevue
1,890
2,202
-14.2%
Bremerton
1,487
879
69.2%
Mount Vernon
3,520
4,899
-28.1%
Chehalis
2,980
2,931
1.7%
North Olympic Peninsula WA
813
880
-7.6%
Puget Sound
284
239
18.8%
Source: U.S. Veteran’s Administration

Want to get notified whenever we write about any of these organizations ?

Sign-up Next time we write about any of these organizations, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

City of Bellevue, Washington City of Bremerton City of Chehalis City of Mount Vernon City of Seattle City of Tacoma

More News

Metro Business Network