VA reports decrease in number of appointments at VA Southern Arizona HCS health facility in Green Valley in August


The VA Southern Arizona Health Care System, subsidiary 678GE in Green Valley, Arizona scheduled 567 pending appointments in August compared to 671 the previous month, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments, 550 had a wait time of 30 days or less (97%) and 17 appointments (3%) 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 Southern Arizona Health Care System Appointments Scheduled in August vs. July

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in August
Total Appointments Scheduled in July
Percent change in number of appointments
678
Tucson, AZ
67,323
66,584
1.1%
678GA
Sierra Vista, AZ
6,511
6,438
1.1%
678GB
Yuma, AZ
5,408
5,286
2.3%
678GC
Casa Grande, AZ
2,802
2,731
2.6%
678GD
Safford, AZ
375
368
1.9%
678GE
Green Valley, AZ
567
671
-15.5%
678GF
Northwest Tucson, AZ
4,890
4,708
3.9%
678GG
Southeast Tucson, AZ
4,036
4,131
-2.3%

Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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