April 2, 2015 - VA is committed to providing high quality, proactive, personalized, patient-driven care to Veterans and strives to improve our services. We are determined to rebuild the trust of Veterans and stakeholders and improve service delivery by focusing on Veteran outcomes.
Some Veterans are still waiting longer than they desire for their appointments, and we are working hard to try to get them the care they have earned where and when they need it.
We realize appointment wait-time data, and how it gets calculated in a system that schedules over 80 million encounters a year, can be complicated and hard to understand—so we want to take this opportunity to explain our methods. We are working in good faith to be as transparent and open as possible with our data, and the way it’s calculated.
VA began publicly posting patient access data online in June 2014. You can find that data here. Back in October, VA made clear that, as directed by Congress, it was establishing new wait-time standards that more accurately reflect whether or not a veteran has been waiting too long for an appointment. VA has done just that, and has been fully transparent about it all along. We began reporting average appointment wait times in two categories: completed and pending. Both of these measures are determined based on the Veteran’s preferred date. The preferred date method is based on a clinician’s specified date for the patient to be seen, or 30 days from a date that the patient prefers to be seen in the absence of a clinical recommendation.
We report this completed appointment average wait time data monthly. VA also regularly advises and updates Veterans service organizations and congressional stakeholders on our patient access data and wait time methods. read more>>>