VA Scandal:Texoma Veterans In Good Hands - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

VA Scandal:Texoma Veterans In Good Hands

The Veterans Affairs Department Monday released its 54 page audit of the VA network.

This investigation came after the VA Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona was exposed for its extreme wait times that resulted in the deaths of some Veterans.  

The audit revealed more than 57,000 veterans across the nation have been waiting for up to three months for care and nearly 64,000 veterans who requested care over the past decade has never seen the inside of a doctor’s office.

"In for too many instances we have let our veterans down. They’ve had to wait too long for the care they deserve, and in too many instances we have behaved in ways that are not consistent with our values," said Sloan Gibson, Acting VA Secretary of Veteran Affairs.

Over the course of two months, the VA Office of Inspector General looked at more than 700,000 hospitals across the country to see where the problem lies in its system.

Newschannel 6 reached out to veteran’s officials in Texoma to see if veterans here were experiencing any problems. The Disabilities American Veterans said veterans associated with its organization have not experienced any problems like others across the country.

Veterans in Texoma mostly receive care at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Based on the audit as of May 15, 2014, 37,270 appointments were scheduled and 95 percent of veterans were seen within 30-days of their appointments.

Only five percent of them waited over the 30-day period.

Out of 170 new application requests, only 25 were waiting on the VA’s Electronic Waiting List (EWL).

Despite those numbers the VA audit findings revealed there were a number of system-wide problems at its hospitals.

·        Complications with scheduling - found common inconsistencies between scheduling clerks and front-line supervisors.

·        14-day wait time performance target for new appointments, the VA said it was inconsistently ran and not attainable giving demand for services and lack of planning for resources.

·        13 percent of scheduling staff interviewed during audit said they were told by higher ups to enter different appointment days then requested by veterans.

·        8-percent of scheduling staff said they used other ways than the official electronic wait list to make waiting times look more appealing

The White House and its administration believe this audit is the next step in determining how to VA will move forward.

“The release of today's data is an indication of the president's commitment to trying to be transparent about this process, that the data that has been released will be helpful in giving all of us, both folks inside the administration as well as individuals on capitol hill as well as members of the public and in the media -- to take a look at exactly what the scope of this problem is,” said White House press secretary, Josh Earnest.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6

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