VA reports increase in number of August appointments scheduled at VA Northern Arizona HCS health facility in Tuba City


The VA Northern Arizona Health Care System, subsidiary 649QF in Tuba City, Arizona scheduled 23 pending appointments in August compared to 17 during the same period last year, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments this August, all appointments had a wait time of 30 days or less.

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 or better to 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 1 of 8 priority groups, with those who need immediate care due to service-related disabilities placed in higher priority groups. Veterans who do not have service-connected disabilities and who earn a higher income are placed in the lower priority groups.

VA Northern Arizona Health Care System - 649QF Appointments Scheduled in August 2019 vs. August 2018

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2019
Total Appointments Scheduled in August 2018
Percent change in number of appointments
649
Prescott
17,891
15,451
15.8%
649GA
Kingman
2,990
3,356
-10.9%
649GB
Flagstaff
499
502
-0.6%
649GC
Lake Havasu City
3,203
3,082
3.9%
649GD
Anthem
486
508
-4.3%
649GE
Cottonwood
1,446
1,039
39.2%
649QA
Chinle
188
42
347.6%
649QB
Holbrook
33
26
26.9%
649QD
Page
12
26
-53.8%
649QF
Tuba City
23
17
35.3%
649QH
Kayenta
11
20
-45%
Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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