VA reports increase in number of appointments at VA Northern Arizona HCS health facility in Kingman in August


The VA Northern Arizona Health Care System, subsidiary 649GA in Kingman, Arizona scheduled 2,990 pending appointments in August compared to 2,980 the previous month, according to data collected from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Of the total number of appointments, 2,848 had a wait time of 30 days or less (95.3%) and 142 appointments (4.8%) 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 Northern Arizona Health Care System Appointments Scheduled in August vs. August

Facility Code
Location
Total Appointments Scheduled in September
Total Appointments Scheduled in August
Percent change in number of appointments
649
Prescott, AZ (Bob Stump)
17,891
17,188
4.1%
649GA
Kingman, AZ
2,990
2,980
0.3%
649GB
Flagstaff, AZ
499
475
5.1%
649GC
Lake Havasu City, AZ
3,203
3,282
-2.4%
649GD
Anthem, AZ
486
535
-9.2%
649GE
Cottonwood, AZ
1,446
1,425
1.5%
649QA
Chinle, AZ
188
206
-8.7%
649QB
Holbrook, AZ
33
50
-34%
649QD
Page, AZ
12
12
0%
649QF
Tuba City, AZ
23
18
27.8%
649QH
Kayenta, AZ
11
11
0%

Source: U.S. Veteran's Administration

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