Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

VA Secretary David Shulkin has been considering an overhaul proposal aimed at reducing veterans' wait times.

Veterans would not be bound by current restrictions under the VA's Choice program, which limits outside care to those who have been waiting more than 30 days for an appointment or have to drive more than 40 miles to a facility.

The Blaze concluded its report explaining that the VA is notorious for its wait times, and unwillingness to fix it.

The list shows veterans in the Texas panhandle still wait nearly two months before they can get their first appointment with a primary care doctor.

VA Group Practice Manager James Stainbrook said, "I think as the VA becomes more transparent on the data that they're supplying to the public and veterans start learning about the questions they can ask, we can then engage with them to help them make the decisions they want to make".

Shulkin has made clear he'd like a broader collaboration of "integrated care" nationwide between the VA and private sector in which veterans have wider access to private doctors.

In 2014, the Phoenix VA was at the center of a torrid scandal involving patient wait times. "Thanks to the leadership of CVS Health and the VA, Phoenix's almost 120,000 Veterans will now be served at 24 different area MinuteClinic locations for minor health care services".

McCain argues that veterans should be allowed to visit community health centers for timely attendance.

"We're committed to providing top-notch care to the area's Veterans and this relationship will allow us to do so in locations and at times that are convenient for the VA's patients". It allows ailing veterans at the Phoenix VA to go to one of 24 "MinuteClinics" operated by CVS for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries. Hopefully, it will lower taxpayer costs and not the quality of care veterans receive. Maureen McCarthy, the Phoenix VA's chief of staff also pointed out at an impending challenge of being able to offer flawless coordination to avoid gaps in care. Three years later, the hospital still has problems seeing patients in a timely fashion.

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