WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today, which found that veterans experienced unacceptable wait times, and some newly enrolled veterans weren’t able to access care at all. The VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Leavenworth, Kan., was one of the facilities included in the study.
“GAO placed the VA Health Care System on the ‘High Risk List’ in 2015 for its inability to provide timely, quality care to our nation’s veterans, and GAO’s latest report demonstrates the VA’s unwillingness to make drastic changes to make certain veterans have access to health care,” Sen. Moran said. “Worse yet, Congress provided VA with the tools to provide veterans with timely care through the Choice Program. It is past time for the VA to address these systemic failures and put the veteran first. I’ve called on GAO to learn more about findings related to the Kansas VA Facilities in this study, and will continue to push for answers to make certain those who have served our country have access to the care they earned.”
The report states: “Sixty of the 180 newly enrolled veterans in GAO’s review had not been seen by providers at the time of the review; nearly half were unable to access primary care because VA medical center staff did not schedule appointments for these veterans in accordance with VHA policy. The 120 newly enrolled veterans in GAO's review who were seen by providers waited from 22 days to 71 days from their requests that VA contact them to schedule appointments to when they were seen, according to GAO's analysis. These time frames were impacted by limited appointment availability and weaknesses in medical center scheduling practices, which contributed to unnecessary delays.”
Sen. Moran has called on GAO to provide specific findings regarding the VA medical facilities in Kansas that were assessed in their report.